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This Startup Wants You to Pass the (Eggless) Mayonnaise

Tickers in this article: AMZN CAG COST KR KRFT SWY UL WFM YHOO

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Hampton Creek -- a small, privately owned startup whose backers include Bill Gates -- is trying to shake up the $11.9 billion global mayonnaise industry that's dominated by Kraft Foods and Unilever in the U.S. 

Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Josh Tetrick, Hampton Creek has created a mayonnaise product that doesn't include eggs. Instead the product -- "Just Mayo" -- relies on a formula that uses plants and other natural ingredients. 

The eggless mayonnaise is being sold in more than 4,000 stores, including Whole Foods Market , Safeway , Kroger and Costco . Hampton Creek's products are also sold by small natural-food retailers and are being offered by Amazon's  food-delivery service which is being tested on the West Coast.

The mayonnaise is also being sold overseas. Hampton Creek recently expanded into Hong Kong's leading grocery store, Park n Shop, through its ties with Asia's wealthiest man, Li Ka-shing, who has helped fund Hampton Creek, along with Gates, venture capitalist and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Internet entrepreneur Jerry Yang, a co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo .

Hampton Creek has raised almost $30 million, including a $23 million round of funding announced in February.

In the U.S., Hellmann's and Best Foods, both owned by Unilever, control 45.5% of the mayonnaise market. Kraft, with its Kraft Mayo and Miracle Whip brands, controls another 39.4%. Together the four brands make up over 85% of mayonnaise sales.

Hampton Creek also has its eyes set on frozen cookie dough and the egg substitutes. The company will launch a frozen cookie product called Just Cookies and egg substitute called Just Scrambled, which will take on ConAgra Food's  Egg Beaters line of egg substitutes. Hampton Creek already sells a product called Beyond Eggs to other food manufacturers.

Tetrick's long-term plans call for an IPO. He said that several companies have approached him about a buyout, but he said he will keep saying no to offers, even at valuations beyond $1 billion.

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At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

Follow Chris on Twitter @chriskatje

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.