Target Corp. will no longer sell products made by food startup Hampton Creek Inc. after an internal review, the latest major blow to the beleaguered maker of Just Mayo eggless mayonnaise and other plant-based foods.
The retail giant decided to end the relationship about two months after receiving what it described as “specific and serious food safety allegations about Hampton Creek products.” Target pulled the San Francisco company’s products from shelves in June while it looked into the matter and shared the claims with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Hampton Creek has said its products are safe and comply with FDA rules. The FDA has said it won’t investigate unless it receives reports of consumers getting sick and has “no safety concerns with Hampton Creek at this time.”
“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,” Jenna Reck, a spokeswoman for Target, wrote in an email Friday. “We are not planning to bring Hampton Creek products back to Target and have openly communicated our decision with the Hampton Creek team.”
Last week, Hampton Creek released a statement saying the FDA had concluded its products are safe and that the company hoped to resolve the issue with Target soon. Hampton Creek said its public statement was to blame for the retailer’s decision. “Target informed us that sharing with the public the FDA’s conclusion that our products are safe violated Target’s vendor communication guidelines,” Andrew Noyes, a spokesman for Hampton Creek, wrote in an email.
Target said the statement was one of several factors. “There were multiple reasons we terminated our relationship with Hampton Creek and all of the reasons were clearly communicated to Hampton Creek,” Reck said by phone. She declined to elaborate, saying Target doesn’t discuss details of its business relationships....MORE