McCain is planning a major relaunch of its Home Fries range backed by a £2m ad campaign. It is understood the changes aim to position it as a premium product.
The revamp, which will hit shelves at the end of January, will include a new look and new packaging, which aim to differentiate the coated chips product from its everyday ranges. The formulation of Home Fries will not be changed.
Industry insiders say McCain is keen to find new consumers and create more “occasions” for people to eat chips. One source says the company’s products have received good press, particularly its oven chips, for being lower in fat, and it is keen to capitalise on that.
McCain has been developing premium lines over the past year. It has launched Beer Battered Ridge Cut chips, the Potato Gourmet range, and Roast Potatoes in Goose Fat for Christmas (MW July 26).
It is understood McCain expects the new products to encourage consumers to use its products as side dishes and accompaniments to main meals. It has also promoted the health benefits of its products and of buying frozen foods, under the “It’s all good” campaign, created by Beattie McGuinness Bungay.
But it is also keen to develop ranges outside its core potato ranges, with snacks such as filled baguettes and Southern Fried chicken wings on the agenda. In October, it reshuffled its top commercial team in a bid to reinforce focus on that side. It promoted marketing director Sue Jefferson to the new role of prepared foods director. Simon Eyles, director of communications, took over her responsibilities (MW October 25).