Why a fancy food startup is selling vegan mayo to America’s poorest shoppers

The clean-food movement has ambitions to eventually feed the next billion people on earth. Silicon Valley venture capitalists are backing food-hacking startups (paywall) trying to invent cheaper or healthier alternatives to traditional protein, fat, and carbohydrates. But for now, the most innovative edibles are expensive and unfamiliar niche products—Soylent, anyone?

Just Mayo, an eggless mayonnaise made by two-year-old Hampton Creek, is a notable exception. Within six months of the product’s debut last autumn, jars were being stocked in Costco, Safeway, and Kroger supermarkets across the US. Last month, it hit shelves of ParknShop stores in Hong Kong. And starting this week, it’s being sold in Dollar Tree stores—the discount supermarkets that are at the very cheapest end of American retail.

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