Hellmann's vegan mayo won out in our blind consumer taste test, but it tied with a cheap supermarket rival, proving that going plant-based doesn't have to be pricey.
The rise in popularity of vegan food has led to a boom in vegan options available on supermarket shelves, but not all vegan mayonnaises are made equal.
We tested 12 branded and supermarket own-label vegan mayos, including Hellmann's and Heinz along with cheaper supermarket alternatives from the likes of Asda, Morrisons and Tesco, and found brilliant buys to pick up wherever you shop.
Sainsbury's plant-based mayo is both cheap and tasty, according to our consumer panel. It came out joint-top in our test, along with condiment stalwart Hellmann's, but it's much cheaper.
If you're near a Sainsbury's it's one to stock up on. Otherwise Hellmann's is an equally delicious choice.
48p per 100ml
If you live near a Sainsbury's, or are just passing by, it's worth picking up this cheap and delicious vegan mayo. It smells and tastes better than rivals, and our tasters loved its creamy, just-the-right-level-of-thick texture.
It's pale colour may be a bit of a giveaway, but more than nine in 10 tasters still said it was a convincing substitute for the real thing.
96p per 100ml
Hellmann's ties for the top spot with Sainsbury's, though it will set you back more at the till.
Most tasters thought it would make a convincing substitute for dairy mayonnaise (though it wasn't quite as convincing as Sainsbury's). Otherwise it has the same appealing smell, mouth-watering texture and delicious taste. It's got more of a tang than Sainsbury's mayo, with three in 10 tasters finding it too sharp for their palette.
The slightly darker colour went down better with our panel than Sainsbury's mayo, so if you want a suitably subtle swap for standard mayo, it could be a better pick.
Scores dropped off after our two top picks, with other supermarket and vegan brand offerings not quite living up to the mark. Several are still decent options though, especially if you don't want to have to hunt far and wide for an acceptable vegan mayo:
The core ingredients in dairy mayonnaise are oil and egg, which when beaten together thicken up to make the creamy mayo we know and love.
For vegan mayonnaise the oil part is easy (all the ones we tried use a base of rapeseed oil) but the egg obviously needs replacing. Its binding properties can be replicated with starch (usually potato starch) or aquafaba, which is the thick juice you usually drain out of a chickpea tin.
Other ingredients include vinegar and mustard to keep the sharp, slightly tangy taste.
On the whole vegan mayo isn't unhealthy in moderation. Some are better than others though.
All the vegan mayonnaises we tested have fewer calories and less fat and saturated fat than a typical dairy mayonnaise.
One thing you will have to consider though is sugar content. When fat is taken away sugar is often used to substitute the taste. Nearly all the vegan mayonnaises have sugar or sugar-related ingredients high up on their list. The biggest offender is Asda, with 2.9g per 100g, whilst Dr Will's has no added sugar, and just 0.1g.
The vegan mayonnaises were tasted and rated in June 2022 by a large panel of consumers who regularly consume these products.
The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK. Each product was assessed by 64 people.
We tested each vegan mayo with chips. The panellists rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each product and told us what they liked and disliked about each one. We also asked if they thought each product was a convincing substitute for standard mayo.
The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order they sampled the vegan mayonnaise was fully rotated to avoid any bias. Each panellist had a private booth so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.
The overall score is based on:
For ease of recyclability, it might be worth avoiding Tesco. The cap isn't recyclable, and it says to 'check locally' for a centre that takes the bottle. All the other vegan mayos can go in your home recycling.
Prices correct as of 15 July 2022