Is Duke’s Mayo Good?

Duke’s Mayonnaise is a hallowed staple in Southern kitchens, and it’s quickly becoming a household favorite across regions up north and other areas of the state — just for the way that it tastes! 

To really put it across, Duke’s is a really good Mayo, just like Hellmann’s and Kewpie. 

In this article, we’ll learn everything about this special Mayonnaise and compare it to the big boys; Hellman’s and Kewpie to find out how it really differs.

What Is Duke’s Mayonnaise Made Of?

With all the hype around Duke’s Mayo, it might seem like the company uses an entirely different approach for Mayo production, but truth is, that it uses the same old “emulsify oil in an aqueous solution until you achieve stability” technique that has been around since ages!

What’s clearly different is how duke’s does it — for them to be able to achieve a Mayo with such merit that very few competitors can actually stand neck to neck with it. 

The exact method, of course, is proprietary (alongside ratios and key flavoring and seasoning compounds), but the list of key ingredients isn’t, as with any other Mayo. 

So let’s check out the main ingredients in Duke’s mayonnaise. 

Soybean oil

This is one of the key ingredients in mayonnaise and it serves as the base for an emulsion to occur. Without oil, there wouldn’t be emulsion, and Mayo wouldn’t be in existence today! 

Duke’s have opted for soybean oil, a derivative from soybeans, as their main oil. Soybean oil is especially likeable in the Mayo industry for its neutral flavor and smooth texture, allowing for other flavors to shine through. It also adds richness and helps create the creaminess (from its fat content) associated with mayonnaise.

Egg yolks

Duke’s Mayo uses only egg yolks for its flagship Mayonnaise. It is speculated that Duke’s Mayo contains more egg yolks than any other American brand of mayonnaise, which contributes to its characteristic richness, relatively deep yellow color and thicker consistency reminiscent of Kewpie Mayo. 

Egg yolks act as the emulsifier through the lecithin content in it, helping to bind the oil and water together for a creamy base to happen.

Distilled And Cider Vinegar

These two types of vinegar provide the tang, or “twang” the way Duke’s like to call it, that balances out the richness of the oil and egg yolks. Distilled vinegar has a sharp, clean flavor, while cider adds a slightly fruity, mellow taste. The combination of the two creates a well-rounded flavor.


Salt is also a key ingredient in Duke’s Mayo, as it enhances the overall taste and also helps preserve the mayonnaise and maintain its consistency.

Oleoresin paprika

This ingredient is derived from the paprika pepper and is used to add a mild, smoky flavor and a touch of natural color to the mayonnaise. It is responsible for the slight off-normal-Mayo color in Duke’s Mayo.

Unique blend of spices and seasonings 

Duke’s Mayo is known for its distinctive taste, which is in part due to the secret blend of spices and seasonings, Duke’s call it Natural Flavor. We don’t know exactly what these are, and in what ratio they are blended, (they’re a closely guarded secret), but these spices indeed add depth and complexity to the flavor, setting Duke’s Mayo apart from other brands.

Why Is It Called Duke’s Mayo? 

A one-word answer to why it’s called Duke’s Mayo wouldn’t do justice to this historic condiment. So let us tell you a short story of how Duke Mayonnaise came into being. 

It all started in 1917 at Camp Sevier where a woman named Eugenia Duke — see where this is going, made and sold sandwiches flavored by a special homemade mayo she made to army canteens during WWI. 

According to anecdotes, Eugenia’s delicious sandwich and the mayo quickly gained popularity that even after the soldiers left their camps, they wrote to Eugene inquiring about her special sandwich recipe and requested for jars of her delicious Mayo.  

Eugenia Duke was smart, she saw this as an opportunity for business, and instantly seized it. She began making and bottling the Mayo and selling it to customers in 1923, and soon, the business exploded and, of course, eagerly begged for a name, from where “Duke’s Mayonnaise” was born in honor of its creator. 

Where Is Duke’s Mayo Made?

Duke’s Mayonnaise is produced by Sauer Brands, in two factories located in Mauldin, South Carolina, a suburb of Greenville and New Century, Kansas. 

How Different Is Duke’s Mayo?

If there’s anything that sets Duke’s Mayo apart from other brands, and even causes it to garner a very loyal following that keeps on expanding, it’s the unique taste characterized by an inexplicable depth, especially when compared to other mayonnaise. And all this is the result of a masterful use and combination of ingredients.

One of the key factors that contributes to the depth in Duke’s mayo’s is its use of only egg yolks, and in a greater quantity than most Mayo.

The use of egg yolks is crucial in creating a super creamy and thicker texture, a somewhat intense coloration, and depth in flavor, due to the higher fat content. 

When compared to whole eggs, yolks contain more fat and emulsifying agents, such as lecithin, which help create a stable emulsion and prevent Mayo from breaking apart easily

Another notable aspect of Duke’s Mayo recipe is its exclusion of sweeteners, artificial colorants, and flavor boosters. 

While many commercial mayonnaise brands use sugar or high fructose corn syrup to add sweetness and improve shelf life, Duke’s Mayo remains true to its original recipe, which does not include any sweeteners, and this actually helps the Mayo in a way, by allowing the tang from the vinegar to show through easily.

And then of course not to speak of the Natural Flavor that Duke’s use in order to really take their Mayo from great to exceptional! For that, you might have to ask them.

The Light Versions

So far, we’ve explored how good Duke’s Mayo is, and if there’s anything that makes it even better, it’s the fact that the brand also offers “Light Versions” of their classic recipe, which offer the signature taste of Duke’s with fewer calories and less fat. 

The light versions maintain the same delicious flavor as the Real Mayo, except that they cut on the overall quantity of oil and yolks, and use builders such as modified corn starch and xanthan gum to supplement for the acquired thinness as a result of such cut.

Where Can You Buy Duke’s Mayo?

Duke’s Mayonnaise is very popular in the southern regions and you can more easily find it in local stores there. For regions outside, you can still find it at various locations, but depending on the region, may prove somewhat difficult. 

Typical stores you can find Duke’s mayonnaise include:

  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Sam’s Club
  • The Fresh Market
  • Kings Food Market
  • ACME Markets
  • Food 4 Less
  • Ralphs Grocery

You can more easily locate stores that carry the mayonnaise from the store locator portal on Duke’s Page, or better still, order the product online and get it delivered within the contiguous U.S. 

You can also order it from online retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target.

Duke’s Mayo Recipe (Copycat)


  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 to 3 pinches sweet paprika (not hot or smoked)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt


Use the technique in this article to make the mayonnaise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Duke’s Mayo Better Than Hellmann’s?

The choice between Duke’s Mayo and Hellmann’s is really a matter of personal preference. Case closed! 

That’s why you have many people growing up in strictly Hellmann’s or Duke’s Mayonnaise homes, despite the existence of the other Mayo. 

In terms of how they taste, both are really great tasting despite having different approaches to Mayo creation, and you’ll never run short of praises for using them in any recipe

In terms of characteristics, Duke’s is a bit more tangy, thicker and richer and more closely resembles kewpie Mayo, while Hellmann’s has a more spreadable texture and a milder flavor compared to Duke’s. 

Surprise! Both work well in all recipes, and are swiftly interchangeable.

Duke’s Mayo vs Kewpie

Yet another clash of titan. 

Duke’s Mayo and Kewpie Mayo are both popular mayonnaise brands in the States, and even though they have subtle differences, they share a lot in similarities: their color, no use of salt and artificial preservatives, use of only egg yolk and more of it, you name it. 

When it comes to taste, Kewpie is more on the savory side due to the use of a combination of vinegar and MSG. And it has more yolks than Duke’s, so it tastes eggy. 

At the end of the day, just like with Hellmann’s, the choice between the two depends on personal preference and the specific dish you are preparing.

Is Duke’s Mayo Gluten Free?

Yes, Duke’s Mayo is gluten-free and it even has a gluten free certification on the bottle. The main ingredients in Duke’s Mayo are soybean oil, egg yolks, vinegar and salt, none of which contain gluten.

Is Duke’s Mayo Keto?

Duke’s Mayo can be considered keto-friendly since it is low in carbohydrates and proteins and high in fats.

Is Duke’s Mayo Vegan?

No, Duke’s Mayo is not vegan because it contains egg yolks. If you are looking for a vegan alternative, consider trying a plant-based mayonnaise made from ingredients such as vegetable oil, aquafaba or pea protein (which Duke’s doesn’t make)

Is Duke’s Mayo Halal?

Duke’s Mayo doesn’t carry an official Halal certification on the packaging so it’s not safe to say that it is halal. However, the ingredients used in Duke’s Mayo (soybean oil, eggs, vinegar, and salt) are generally considered halal, the only problem is that we don’t know if they are sourced in a halal way. To find out, you can contact the brand directly.

Is Duke’s Mayo Kosher?

Yes, Duke’s Mayo is certified kosher. It carries the Orthodox Union (OU) Kosher symbol on the product packaging, which means it meets the required kosher dietary laws.

Is Duke’s GMO-Free?

According to the Duke’s Mayo official page, their products are not GMO-free. Which means that even though some of the ingredients like eggs and vinegar are naturally non-GMO, the main ingredient, soybean oil, may be derived from genetically modified soybeans.

Is Duke’s Mayo Whole30?

Duke’s Mayo does not comply with the Whole30 dietary program, as it contains ingredients derived from soybeans, which are not allowed on the Whole30 diet.

What Is Duke’s Mayo Bowl?

The Duke’s Mayo Bowl is an annual college football bowl game that takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

It was established in 2002, and the game currently features a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and either the Southeastern Conference (SEC) or the Big Ten Conference (B1G). 

The bowl game has gone through several name changes and sponsorship deals over the years, and in June 2020, Duke’s Mayonnaise became the title sponsor, giving the game its current name.

What Is Duke’s Mayo Classic?

The Duke’s Mayo Classic is a college football game played on the opening weekend of the football season in college. Like “Duke’s Mayo Bowl” the name “Duke’s Mayo Classic” comes from the event’s title sponsor, Duke’s Mayonnaise, which has been involved with the game since 2020.

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