I say potato and you say patatas, but McCain Foods can say it in every language under the sun. Still privately owned by its founding family, McCain produces almost one-third of all the world's potato products, in the form of oven-bake Home Fries and Oven Chips (or 1-2-3 Frites in some markets), microwave Micro Chips, Hash Browns, Potato Wedges, Rosti and numerous other products. It is the clear leader in virtually every global market except the US. It has compensated by breaking new ground in developing markets such as China and Russia and it has an especially strong presence in Europe, where it also operates through Belgian subsidiary Lutosa. It acquired majority control of Brazilian potato products supplier Serya in 2019. The largest proportion of its sales come from a substantial global food service operation. Among its biggest customers are McDonald's and Burger King to whom it is the main supplier of French fries in most global markets except the US. The McCain family was long-established as a leading potato farmer in Canada when brothers Harrison and Wallace McCain founded a company to freeze and market ready-cut French fries in 1956. They later revolutionised the home market with the introduction of Oven Chips, which tasted like deep-fried without any of the inconvenience. In the 1990s, the group acquired Ore-Ida food services, a major US supplier of French fries to the catering trade. (Heinz continued to own the Ore-Ida consumer brand). The McCain brothers fell out in the 1990s, effectively splitting the company. Their nephew Allison McCain engineered a reunion of the two sides, and is now chairman. Several other family members sit on the board. Max Koeune succeeded Dirk van der Put as CEO in 2017. Revenues were C$9.5bn in 2018. Separately, the McCain family also owns Maple Leaf Foods, Canada's largest manufacturer of fresh and prepared meat. Brands include Maple Leaf, Schneiders, Swift and Prime, among others.
Capsule checked 7th May 2019
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Who are the competitors of McCain Foods? McCain's main competitors in potato products, in the US and elsewhere, are ConAgra's Lamb Weston, JR Simplot and Kraft Heinz. See Food Sector index for other companies
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Adbrands Daily Update 20th Aug 2019: "We Are Family 2019". Here's another warm and well-observed celebration of family ties from Adam&Eve DDB for McCain Foods. It's easy to accuse the ad's different vignettes of sentimentality and blatant inclusiveness but, you know what, in divisive times like the present, there's nothing wrong with that. What ever our racial, sexual and political differences, we all (mostly) cherish our family and we all love chips. Silly as it may sound, that's actually something to be celebrated.
Historical profile information for McCain Foods
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