Mayo lovers, step aside. A town in Florida is trading mayo for Miracle Whip in an elaborate marketing prank spearheaded by Kraft Heinz. Mayo, a small north-central town where Florida's Panhandle morphs into a peninsula, has changed its name to "Miracle Whip" as part of an advertising stunt for the mayonnaise alternative.
The mayor of the town, which boasts less than 1,500 residents, made the surprising announcement of the name change over the weekend as street signs and the name on the town water tower were switched out, according to Fox News.
But the joke could be on city council members. Mayo mayor, Ann Murphy, told Fox the city council secretly discussed the deal with Miracle Whip during a closed session because they wanted the name change prank to be a surprise to the townspeople. Unfortunately, a closed session violates Florida's Sunshine Law which requires meetings to be held publicly except under limited conditions.
Mayo, now Miracle Whip, will reportedly get up to $25,000 for the name change, which will be used for the town's beautification funds. That should make even mustard fans happy, and the name change will only be in effect for a few days before the town reverts back to Mayo.But while Miracle Whip, Florida, is still a thing, the Kraft Heinz brand is milking it for all its worth. The official Miracle Whip Twitter posted a clip of the changing water tower, captioning it with the sentiment that the good people of the Florida town "deserve a name to match the quality of their character." And Mayor Murphy is offering up a tongue-in-cheek proposal to keep the name change permanent, saying Miracle Whip will "definitely" put the tiny town on the map.
Miracle Whip was first whipped up in 1933, making its debut at the Chicago World's Fair. While its ingredient list is very similar to mayonnaise, it is labeled a "dressing." Miracle Whip contains mayo's key ingredients of eggs, soybean oil, vinegar, and water, but its oil content is less than 65 percent by weight, so it can't be considered mayonnaise per U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, according to Real Simple. Miracle Whip's cheaper price also made it a popular pick during the Depression, and more than 80 years later it's still one of the grocery industry's 20 top-selling brands.
While Mayo is now temporarily named Miracle Whip, the Florida town wasn't originally named after the popular sandwich condiment. Instead, it was named after Confederate Col. James Mayo, according to USA Today. The town is also the county seat of Lafayette County, and the area's largest employer is a state prison.