McCain Chips | Shelf Review

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McCain Chips | Shelf Review

February 27
11:46 2013

Every month, Monica Lucas, president and research director of retail consultancy Pragma, takes a look at a recently-launched pack from the consumer’s point of view. This month: McCain chips


McCain Foods is a privately owned company that was established in 1957 by four brothers in Canada. It is the world’s largest producer of chips and other oven-ready frozen food products. The company entered the UK market in the 1960s. Today, around 45% of all frozen potatoes sold in the UK are McCain frozen potato products, making McCain Foods the clear market leader in the sector. A new visual identity has been created for the McCain range by BrandOpus, with the removal of the ‘black box’ logo, which had previously remained unchanged since the 1950s.

Graphics 6/10  

The new identity, according to the designers, aims to encapsulate the natural landscape from the previous brand design and establishes the logo as the sunshine, bringing warmth to the McCain brand. Certainly, the new design is fresher and more modern, and the bisection of the pack between the bright yellow, sunny upper half (which conveys warmth and evokes healthy provenance with its depiction of countryside and birds) and the contrasting lower half, which clearly sets off the variant descriptor to aid discrimination.  We question, however, the wisdom of losing completely a 60 year old logo, which has surely stood the test of time.

On shelf 8/10

In the freezer cabinets the new packs achieve greater stand out. Competitors (notably own brand but also other brands like Aunt Bessie’s) appear less sophisticated by comparison.

Overall 7/10

A fresher, brighter look – more in keeping with today’s visual cues – and more capable of further product range extension.  An evolution rather than revolution, which is absolutely as it should be for such a significant and well established brand.

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