Sir Kensington’s Co-founder Scott Norton Shares the Story Behind the Brand’s New Vegan MayosMarch 4th, 2020
Sir Kensington’s is excited to bring a new line of vegan mayos to Thrive Market members this month. We recently caught up with Scott Norton, the brand’s co-founder, who said the new products epitomize how the brand prioritizes sustainability in every business decision it makes.
What inspired you to start your own condiment company?
It all started back in college. My co-founder, Mark, and I have always been passionate about food and we saw that while food was evolving for the better, condiments were getting left behind. So we set out to create a ketchup that we actually wanted to eat—made with considered ingredients like real, whole tomatoes and natural sugar. In 2008, we hosted our first ketchup-tasting party with six varieties. The top two crowd favorites became our Classic and Spiced Ketchups (both of which you can still find in stores today). We’ve since added mayo, mustard and dressings to the mix, but we’ve really just begun.
How would you describe Sir Kensington’s mission? What sets your brand apart from other condiment companies?
Our mission is simple: to reimagine ordinary and overlooked food with fearless integrity and charm.
What’s integrity to us? We’re committed to sourcing the highest quality ingredients using the highest quality sourcing practices, which all leads to amazing flavor. Every ingredient is Non-GMO Project verified, every egg is Certified Humane Free Range and every sweetener is Fairtrade International certified. No other condiment company can say that and it’s something we’re very proud of.
What’s charm to us? Food nourishes, but it should also entertain. We obsess over creating transcendent taste experiences that bring people pleasure, and to do it all with the quirk of the fabled Sir Kensington himself.
Being a certified B-Corporation, how does Sir Kensington’s think about impact and sustainability?
We put impact and sustainability at the forefront of every decision we make. It’s part of our brand DNA and has been since the very beginning, long before we were B-Corp certified. As a company, we have an opportunity to make a positive impact. We recognize that we’re a part of a food system that has the biggest environmental impact of any industry. While we can’t completely avoid our impact, we take responsibility for making decisions that take care of the people and resources our business touches. The launch of our Vegan Mayo is a perfect example of this. Not only is it a plant-forward innovation with sustainably sourced ingredients, but in the process of developing it, we created a unique new supply chain for aquafaba, which often goes to waste.
Tell us more! There are a few vegan mayos on the market, but yours is the only one to use aquafaba. What was that development process like? What do you do with all of those unused chickpeas?
If you’ve ever drained a can of chickpeas, or boiled them yourself, you know aquafaba! Aquafaba was first brought to our attention by a Research & Development intern who was asked to look into plant-forward food trends. Upon further investigation, we realized that aquafaba could be used as an egg substitute due to its strong emulsifying properties. We knew we wanted to create a plant-based mayo as we saw growing demand within our communities. So a few years ago, we created the first commercial aquafaba supply chain by partnering with a hummus company to divert aquafaba from their waste stream. We’ve since helped to create a more scalable supply that puts both aquafaba and chickpeas to use after production.
Tell us about Sir Kensington’s new vegan mayos—what makes them even better than what’s out there now?
First off, they taste amazing! It’s hard to nail flavor when creating a plant-based alternative of a classic product but I think we’ve done it. By employing aquafaba, we’re able to achieve the perfect creamy texture. Another notable difference is the clean, allergen-free ingredients we use. Most vegan mayos are made with processed starches and pea or soy powders that can taste grainy, and lack the crucial savory notes afforded by aquafaba and a touch of seaweed. And of course our line up offers flavors to please every palate, replicating our best-selling egg-based mayos for the plant-froward eater. You’ll find our vegan mayos in Classic, Avocado Oil, Chipotle, and Special Sauce varieties.
What’s next for Sir Kensington’s? How do you see the company evolving in years to come?
We have some very exciting products launching this year that celebrate global flavors and have started to dip our toes into publishing with Sandwich Magazine. As you might guess, it offers mind-expanding stories about this essential food. Follow along on our Instagram @sirkensingtons, and let’s be Taste Buds.