The marketing mix in the food industry
A McCain Foods case study

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Page 1: Introduction

McCain Foods was founded in 1957 in Canada by the McCain brothers Harrison, Wallace, Robert and Andrew. McCain Foods is now the largest chip producer in the world with a market share of almost 33% and more than 20,000 employees working in 57 locations worldwide. Since 1968 McCain GB has been operating from its UK base in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

McCain prides itself on the quality and convenience of its product range and for over three decades has been making healthier versions of favourite staple foods. The McCain brothers had a simple philosophy 'Good ethics is good business'. This lies behind the McCain brand message 'It's All Good'.

It is not just the food that is good. The philosophy also refers to the way McCain works with its suppliers and builds its relationship with its customers. McCain believes it is important to take care of the environment, the community and its people. It works with around 300 farmers in the UK , chosen for the quality of their potato crop. McCain factories are located in key potato growing areas, which helps to reduce food miles.

Corporate responsibility

A further example of the way McCain is reducing its impact on the environment is the installation of three 125m high wind turbines to generate electricity for its Whittlesey factory near Peterborough. McCain is the first major UK food manufacturer to use alternative energy to help power a large factory.

McCain also gives back to the community by committing resources to both local and national projects.  McCain supports a wide range of local charities and good causes. Nationally, McCain has a five-year agreement with UK Athletics to promote track and field sport in the UK.

The marketing mix

McCain strives to be a company making good, simple food in an increasingly sustainable way, while meeting business objectives. To achieve this, the business ensures that it balances the four elements (the four Ps) of the marketing mix.

A product or service will have its own different mix of the four Ps. The right mix will achieve marketing objectives and result in customer satisfaction:

  • Product - this has to look and taste good and be made from wholesome ingredients
  • Price - the price has to be attractive to ensure enough sales to generate a profit
  • Place - the place and position of the product in the market is important to compete for market share
  • Promotion - this has to fit the company”s objectives for the product.

This case study shows how McCain combines all four parts of the marketing mix to develop its marketing strategy.

McCain Foods | The marketing mix in the food industry