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In 1905, Richard Hellmann from Vetschau, Germany, opened a delicatessen on Columbus Avenue in New York City, where he used his wife's recipe to sell the first ready-made mayonnaise. It became so popular that he began selling it in bulk to other stores. In 1912 he built a factory for producing Mrs. Hellmann's mayonnaise. It was mass marketed and called Hellmann's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise. It was so successful, Hellmann closed his delicatessen by 1917 to devote full time to his mayonnaise business.
While Hellmann's Mayonnaise thrived on the East Coast, the California company Best Foods introduced their own mayonnaise. Best Foods Mayonnaise became popular on the West Coast.
In 1932, Best Foods bought the Hellmann's brand. By then both mayonnaises had such commanding market shares in their respective halves of the country that the company decided that both brands and recipes be preserved. To this day:
Best Foods Mayonnaise is sold west of the Rocky Mountains, specifically, in or west of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Hellmann's is sold east of the Rockies, specifically, in or east of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.[1]
In 1955, Best Foods acquired Rosefield Packing Co., makers of Skippy peanut butter.
Then Best Foods was bought by Corn Products Refining Company in 1958 to form Corn Products Company, which in 1969 became CPC International Inc. In the United Kingdom, Hellmann's mayonnaise arrived in 1961. By the late 1980s, it had over 50% market share. [1]
Around 1968 the Best Foods brand added the Blue Ribbon from the Hellmann's brand, making them more sister products. Since 2007, both brands have exactly the same design.
In 1997, CPC International split in 2 companies: Bestfoods, becoming its own company once more, and Corn Product International. [2]
Bestfoods was acquired by Unilever in 2000.[3]


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