CASSIES Bronze: It’s all good for McCain

The food manufacturer ditches unpronounceable ingredients for real ones.

BRONZE: Sustained Success 

Situation Analysis Three years ago, McCain made a commitment to change the way its Canadian products are made, dubbed “It’s all good” (IAG). Unpronounceable ingredients were out and real ingredients were in. Food products had to be better than the current ones and those of the competition, a massive undertaking that began in January 2010.

Strategy & Insight Most moms rely, at least a few nights a week, on convenience food, and many of them don’t have the time or inclination to scrutinize the ingredient lists. At the same time, there’s a nagging voice in her head, because there’s something about sodium stearoyl lactylate and diglycerides that just doesn’t sound right. For the new McCain products the insight was simple: shouldn’t the only ingredient in food be… food?

Execution Knowing that moms feel a certain amount of guilt about using frozen products, the creative avoided anything that might feel judgmental. It took a more thoughtful approach, using simple but provocative questions. Launch TV, for example, re-framed “what’s for dinner?” as “what’s in dinner?” – and used this (along with other media) to introduce IAG. Over the following two years a fully integrated plan unfolded with television, print, PR, new packaging, a new website, digital display, rich media, page takeovers, blogger partnerships and internal communications.

Results Goals for the first two years of IAG were established for McCain Frozen Potatoes, McCain Superfries and McCain Frozen Pizza. All of these products grew dollar sales, share and household penetration ahead of expectations.

Cause & Effect With no other major changes in marketing activity, Millward Brown tracking showed a significant increase in awareness of the IAG brand promise, along with strong lifts in master brand attributes and purchase intent. McCain also jumped to 13th place from 23rd in the Marketing/Leger 2010 Corporate Reputation Survey – the biggest jump the survey had ever seen.


Client: McCain Foods Canada
Regional CEO: Fred Schaeffer
President, Canada: Darryl Rowe
VP marketing: Heather Crees
VP research: Bettie Lye
Brand director, potato & appetizer: Mike O’Brien
Brand director, potato (As of 2011): Paul Tralla
Brand director, pizza, snacks & desserts: Paul Gallagher
Brand director, strategy & innovation: Paul Kurvits
Director of marketing insights: Irene Stathakos
Senior brand manager, Pizza: Kelly Switzer
Brand manager, potato: Elizabeth O’Neill
Agency: Taxi Canada
VP executive strategic director: Maxine Thomas
Group account director: Talke Krauskopf
Account director: Kate Horne
Account manager: Nicole Libfeld
ECD: Darren Clarke
CDs: Rose Sauquillo, Heather Hnatiuk, Irfan Khan
AD: Maria Ward
Broadcast producers: Sam Benson, Eugene Marchio
Additional agencies/partners: Anthem, AOR Media Management Inc., Capital C, Veritas Communications


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