Target Ends Relationship With Hampton Creek

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Minneapolis, MN — Target Corp. has pulled Just Mayo eggless mayonnaise and other products from San Francisco-based vegan food startup Hampton Creek Inc. off its shelves for good.

The retailer had pulled the products about two months ago after receiving what it said were food safety allegations it shared with the Food & Drug Administration.

“Although the FDA is not pursuing this further, we used the opportunity to review our portfolio, as we regularly do, and decided to reconsider our relationship with Hampton Creek,” Target spokesperson Jenna Reck told Bloomberg.

In a statement on its website, meanwhile, Hampton Creek co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick said the company had shared the news from FDA because of the publicity Target’s actions  had drawn.

“To our surprise,” Tetrick wrote, “Target informed us that sharing with the public the FDA’s conclusion that our products are safe somehow violated Target’s vendor communication guidelines. Target told us this is what drove their decision to end our relationship, in spite of their pledge to bring back the products once the FDA confirmed their safety.”

Sources told Bloomberg that Target had been Hampton Creek’s largest retail customer and was expected to bring in about $5.5 million a year, or about a third of its sales. Hampton Creek disputed those figures, saying Target accounted for less than 10% of the company’s total net revenue in 2016 and 2017.

Among the troubles to hit Hampton Creek recently were disclosure of an undercover project to buy back its own products from stores. Earlier this summer, the entire membership resigned from the board, with the exception of Tetrick. Earlier this month, Just Goods, a bottled-water company co-founded by actor Jaden Smith sued over a trademark dispute claiming Hampton Creek’s new packaging violated a 2014 agreement to keep its “just” all lower case.

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