Bermuda Sun Article -

by Don Burgess, Deputy Editor
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bermudians slather mayonnaise on hot dogs, beef and chicken pies, peas and rice so we might as well have our own brand of white, creamy goodness.

Karibuni is now marketing Bermuda’s Best Real Mayonnaise, which is on shelves in grocery stores across the island.

Desmond and Selena Mello own the company.

Gary Mello, research and development, and sales manager for Karibuni Ltd, which owns the Bermuda Best brand, said: “We surprise the world at how much mayonnaise we use here.”

Mr Mello said it’s not a case of his company picking an overseas brand to slap their label on the jar “and hope for the best. We’ve been researching this for 13 months now.”

He said Karibuni looked at various products in Bermuda and compared prices with them in the US.

The company first came up with a Bermuda’s Best codfish.

“Back then we used to get bits and pieces and all sorts of trash in the bag. We went and got proper filets and get the best product we can at the lowest price we can. The rest is history — we now have about 99 per cent of the retail and about 90 per cent of the institutional (market).”

He said the company then developed a chourico product.

Mr Mello said: “The chourico that was on the shelf was like a red cardboard. We went up to the States to 11 different places. We finally came upon one that was really good and we tweaked it for the Bermuda market. It was a real fine grind, almost like a hot dog, but Bermuda likes chunks of meat and fat.”

He said it was after they found the perfect chourico for the Bermuda market, the company set it sights on getting the right mayonnaise blend for the island.

Mr Mello said in looking at the price of Hellmann’s — which runs more than $6 a jar —, his company thought they could find a product that was significantly cheaper.

He went to Cains, the number three brand of mayonnaise in the US, but with a large market share in the northeast portion of the States.

“They are the largest private label manufacturer. We went up there and taste tested mayonnaise — so much I actually got sick. It’s not like wine where you just swish it around your mouth, you have to swallow it to see what the aftertaste is like.

“After about 15 of these, I literally had to go to the bathroom to get rid of what I had. We then went through the next 15.”

He then narrowed it down to two mayonnaise types. “Hellmman’s has too heavy of a zang so we tweaked it. Ours is a little creamier but basically there is little difference after that except we’re three or four dollars a jar lower.”

Mr Mello added the product is both kosher and gluten-free.

It also includes a Bermudian recipe for potato salad made by Mr Mello’s wife Patty.

Bermuda’s Best mayonnaise is available at Lindo’s, SuperMart, Arnold’s and Hunt’s.

Real Bermudian

Giorgio Zanol, owner of Lindo’s, said: “I don’t eat too much mayonnaise, but my wife and my niece tried it and they said ‘it’s excellent.’ My wife is a real Bermudian and she’s very fussy about her mayonnaise. Hellmann’s was always her mayonnaise. She tried and she liked it.

Mr Zanol said Bermuda’s Best matches up well with the other brands in the store.

“I would ask people to try it. If they like it, they’ll buy it. It’s cheaper and it’s on special right now for $3.59. This is a very good price on a very good mayonnaise.”