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Mayonnaise vs. Miracle Whip: The Differences

Margaret Minnicks is a health-conscious person who researches the health benefits of foods and drinks.

Miracle Whip vs Mayonnaise

Miracle Whip vs Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip are not the same. They are, indeed, very different. However, if you run out of one, you could get away with using the other as a substitute on a temporary basis. However, those who favor one or the other don't like to change.

Miracle Whip isn’t mayonnaise, and mayonnaise isn't Miracle Whip. Here's why: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that anything labeled "mayonnaise" must contain a minimum of 65 percent of vegetable oil. Miracle Whip has a much lower percentage and doesn't meet the FDA standard to be mayonnaise.

What most people don't know is that Miracle Whip was priced cheaper to make it affordable for poor people during the Great Depression. These days, the price of Miracle Whip is about the same as mayonnaise. It is among the 20 top-selling brands.

What Is Mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise, often abbreviated as mayo, is a spread that is put on many foods, including sandwiches to enhance the taste. It is uncooked and slightly greasy.

According to Wikipedia:

"Mayonnaise is a thick, creamy sauce often used as a condiment. It is made with oil, egg yolks and either vinegar or lemon juice."

Mayo is a thick, cold sauce or dressing. The color of mayonnaise could be white, cream color, or pale yellow. It may range in texture from a light cream to a thick gel.

Mayo sales have doubled since 2005. Americans purchase approximately 177 million gallons of mayonnaise every year. That's enough mayonnaise to fill 268 Olympic size swimming pools or two-thirds of the Empire State Building.

Mayonnaise is a booming business even though people can make their own at home. Americans spend at least $2 billion on it every year. That's more than on any other condiment, including ketchup. Mayo is used on foods other than just sandwiches. It is included in pasta salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, salmon cakes, deviled eggs, potato salad, and sushi.

It is hard to come to an agreement about how mayonnaise should be categorized. In this section, there are four different names for mayonnaise:

  1. spread
  2. sauce
  3. dressing
  4. condiment

What Is Miracle Whip?

Miracle Whip is a salad dressing manufactured by Kraft Foods and sold throughout the United States and Canada. It was debuted at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933. It soon became a success as a condiment on fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, and in salads.

According to Wikipedia:

"Miracle Whip does not meet the minimum requirement of 65 percent vegetable oil to be labeled as mayonnaise as dictated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

Therefore, Miracle Whip is not mayonnaise. Water is the first ingredient in Miracle Whip with some oil, sugar, and cornstarch to thicken, a little bit of egg, and some salt and flavorings. Because of all the water, it has half the calories of mayonnaise. Miracle Whip is considered a healthier version of mayo because it doesn't have fats like mayo has that your body needs.

If you can't tell the difference between mayonnaise and Miracle Whip, put them side by side and do the taste test. The one that tastes sweeter is Miracle Whip because of the high-fructose corn syrup and sugar that it contains.

Differences Between Mayo and Miracle Whip


MayonnaiseMiracle Whip

More expensive

Less expensive

Made with 80% vegetable oil; FDA requires at least 65%

Very low content of vegetable oil; way less than FDA requirement of 65%

Flavor is not sweet or spicy

Sweet, tangy and spicy flavor

Labeled as a spread, condiment, dressing or sauce

Labeled as a salad dressing

Few ingredients

Includes more than 20 different spicy ingredients

Made with natural household ingredients; therefore, you can make your own

All ingredients not known; therefore, you cannot make your own

Not a brand

Among top 20 selling brands



More calories

Half the calories of mayo

Looks exactly like Miracle Whip

Looks exactly like mayonnaise

Slightly greasy

Not greasy

A generic name; the first letter is a lower case "m"

A brand name; that's why the first letters are capitalized.

Fats content because of eggs

Considered healthier because of no fats

One tablespoon has 90 calories.

Has more sugar