Food producer Hampton Creek has become best known for its egg-free food items that traditionally contain eggs. Just Mayo, an alternative to mayonnaise, is its best seller to date. The company isn’t only focusing on creating substitutes for egg-based foods, however. Some items in its upcoming line of salad dressings, for instance, don’t contain any animal products in their original versions. Vinaigrette is an example. Vinaigrette is used not only as a salad dressing but as a marinade. Although marinade is often thought of as a method for providing flavor and enhancing the texture of meat, it can be used for vegetables dishes as well. That’s an important point, since people who don’t eat meat are some of Hampton Creek’s biggest fans.
What can consumers expect to find in Vinaigrette by Hampton Creek that’s different from bigger commercial brands? Since the product is not yet on store shelves, there are no definitive answers. It’s possible to indulge in some intelligent speculation, however. One aspect will be a shorter list of ingredients, which appeals to consumers who are troubled by long lists of components that may include artificial flavors and colors. Homemade vinaigrette recipes typically only call for oil, vinegar, a touch of salt and perhaps some herbs and lemon juice. Many consumers don’t understand why a store-bought version must have three times as many ingredients. Is there really an essential need to include ingredients like calcium disodium EDTA and potassium sorbate? Do most people even know what those substances are?
Some commercial brands of vinaigrette do include cheese. Greek versions, for instance, may contain feta or Romano cheese, or both. Hampton Creek’s vinaigrette will not have those ingredients. It may not include soybean oil either, as the company’s products to date have avoided soy in favor of canola oil. The company is dedicated to helping shoppers avoid genetically modified organisms, and it may be easier to buy GMO-free canola oil compared with soy. Some big commercial brands contain maltodextrin from corn, sugar and yeast extract, all of which people may feel are unnecessary ingredients in vinaigrette. Hampton Creek’s ingredient lists have always been less complicated.