Unsatisfied with the range and quality of condiments available in the shops, partners, Zoe and Chris took matters into their own hands.
MAY-OH, born in 2020, is now an official Great Taste award winner, receiving one gold star from The Guild of Fine Food for both its Classic and Black Truffle flavours. Available from their website, MAY-OH uses only eggs sourced from hens reared to the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards.
Where did the inspiration for MAY-OH come from?
“We’ve always been huge condiment lovers! Our fridge is filled with jars of all types, flavours and brands” says MAY-OH co-founder, Chris.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we kept finding ourselves mixing ingredients with lots of different mayonnaises to create our favourite flavours and realised that the only way to create the perfect mayonnaise was to start making it ourselves.
“Unlike the mainstream brands, our recipes avoided added sugars, water, emulsifiers, and any other ingredients you’ve never heard of, which made MAY-OH not only look different but taste better too!”
Egg-laying hens on RSPCA Assured farms
For any egg product to be labelled RSPCA Assured, there are strict welfare standards set by the RSPCA which must be met. Egg-laying hens on RSPCA Assured farms enjoy a more stimulating environment as they are provided with enrichment.
Like all animals, egg-laying hens need enrichment objects, such as perches, straw bales and pecking objects. These encourage active, natural behaviours like nesting, perching, pecking and dust bathing. When birds are not provided with enrichment that encourages these behaviours, they could potentially perform behaviours like feather pecking.
Why is higher welfare important to MAY-OH?
Zoe tells us, “We’ve meticulously worked through our minimal list of ingredients, finding the highest quality producer of every item. When looking at eggs on a supermarket shelf, quality to me means higher welfare. The lives of laying-hens are important to us as animal lovers and, we believe, crucial for a tasty egg.
“There is awareness for the welfare of animals when it comes to products such as meat or dairy, but this seems to be missed with the ‘hidden’ ingredients that go into making condiments and sauces. MAY-OH wants to change that by only using eggs from RSPCA Assured certified farms. We want people to have a higher welfare choice when buying mayonnaise.”
Are hens still kept in battery cages?
You may be surprised to know that a large number of egg-laying hens (approximately 45%) are still kept in cages in the UK. The old battery cage was banned in Europe in 2012 but was replaced by a new type of battery cage called a colony or enriched cage.
What are enriched colony chicken cages?
These enriched cages provide each hen with a usable space equal to an A4 piece of paper and limited enrichment. This restricts hens’ ability to move around, stay active and easily perform those natural behaviours that help keep them fit and healthy – both mentally and physically.
No cages ever
The RSPCA’s standards for egg-laying hens do not allow birds to be kept in cages, ever. Birds may only be kept on free-range farms or in large barns where they are free to roam around and exhibit their natural behaviours like nesting, perching and dust bathing.
Why are you using eggs from an RSPCA Assured farm?
“The RSPCA’s commitment to animal welfare is key for us”, says Zoe. “We’re looking for happy eggs from happy hens to produce better quality MAY-OH for all to enjoy! We also value the traceability of RSPCA Assured eggs. Each step of the production process aligns with the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards, which is excellent assurance for our customers.
“Finally, the RSPCA Assured brand is one that customers recognise as a stamp of approval for farm animal welfare. Being the first RSPCA Assured mayonnaise brand available to consumers is something we’re incredibly proud of.”
Your choices make a difference
By choosing RSPCA Assured products when you’re out shopping or when you're going out to dinner, you help farm animals to have a better life. And by selecting MAY-OH sauces, you can be sure not just of getting great tasting products, but also ensuring that the egg-laying hens received higher welfare standards.
What is the ultimate MAY-OH dish?
“That’s a huge question! MAY-OH can be used as an ingredient or a side dish. A few dollops of our Black Truffle Mayonnaise with new potatoes will transform them into an indulgently different potato salad. Or, our English Mustard Mayonnaise takes a cold roast beef sarnie to the next level. Still, our firm favourite has to be chunky chips dipped into our Classic MAY-OH Mayonnaise; the luxurious rich texture is the perfect accompaniment” says Chris.
Does mayonnaise belong on pizza?
“Always!” says Zoe. “Maybe not as a topping but certainly as a dipper. The very first version of MAY-OH came from a mix with Caribbean hot sauce, which inspired our Chipotle Chilli and Lime Mayonnaise. Our Smokey Garlic Mayonnaise is also very close to a classic Catalan allioli, a firm pizza crust dipping favourite.
“A number of our favourite pizza restaurants are now stocked with our dips, so we have to say YES to MAY-OH and pizza”.
Where can I purchase MAY-OH products?
“We’re still relatively new, so MAY-OH’s most easily available from the MAY-OH website. We are also available in approximately 40 delis and independent grocers across the UK. And our catering tubs are used in a number of local restaurants and cafes. Naturally, we’re keen to work with other great brands, so if you are a retailer or other food business please get in touch, we’d love to talk to you about our products.”