Miracle Whip vs. Mayonnaise

Ever since Kraft Miracle Whip made its debut in 1933 at the Chicago World's Fair, it has been labeled a "dressing" rather than a mayonnaise. Although it looks like mayo, it actually isn't. Here's why.

By Melissa Clark
Jars of mayonnaiseAnna Williams

Why Miracle Whip isn't mayo: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that anything labeled "mayonnaise" contain a minimum of 65 percent vegetable oil by weight. And though Kraft keeps Miracle Whip's exact oil content a secret, the company confirms that it is too low to meet the mayo standard.

What makes it different: While it contains mayo's key ingredients (egg, soybean oil, vinegar, water), Miracle Whip sets itself apart with a sweet, spicy flavor that some folks prefer. First introduced during the Depression, when its cheaper price made it alluring to people who couldn't afford more highfalutin mayo, it's now caught up, costing about the same amount per ounce as the real thing. At any price, Miracle Whip still has legions of devotees: According to Kraft, it's currently among the grocery industry's 20 top-selling brands.


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