McCAIN Foods Limited is an international leader in the frozen food industry, employing 20,000 people and operating 50 production facilities on six continents. A privately owned company headquartered in Toronto, Canada, McCAIN generates annual sales in excess of CDN$6 billion. McCAIN is the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato specialties and also produces other food products, including pizza, appetizers, oven meals, juice and desserts. The company’s products can be found in thousands of restaurants and supermarket freezers in more than 160 countries around the world. McCAIN also owns The Day & Ross Transportation Group, which is based in Hartland, New Brunswick and is one of the largest transportation companies in Canada.
French fries were the name of the game and, initially, were imported by McCAIN. But within two years, McCAIN had purchased a small production facility in Daylesford and began processing locally grown potatoes, at a rate of 20,000 tonnes each year, into French fries. It was obvious to the company that the French fry market was still in its infancy and just a few years later, a decision was made to build a brand new production facility capable of at least doubling the capacity of the Daylesford plant.
The climate of Ballarat was known to be almost ideal for growing quality potatoes. A 7-hectare lot was purchased in Ballarat and construction began in 1974, with operations starting in August 1975. This new venture was able to process 48,000 tonnes of potatoes – that’s approximately 660 standard cup serves of fries per minute.
Over time, through acquisitions and development, we have expanded to include plants in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. McCAIN now supplies a range of French fries, vegetables, pizza, meals, fruit and potato-specialty products for both the Retail and Foodservice markets. The Ballarat site alone now covers an area of almost 48 hectares and houses a cold store with storage capacity of approximately 1.2 million cartons of our food.
When McCAIN commenced selling a range of products imported from Australia to both the Retail and Foodservice markets. The first sales office opened in Auckland in 1987 and, through further acquisitions and development, now produces French fries, vegetables and meals in plants located in Timaru and Hastings.
In both Australia and New Zealand, McCAIN Foods is a very significant player in the Retail and Foodservice markets and is the market leader in several of its categories.
We’re now on a journey to improve the way we grow our ingredients and produce our products; we’re reformulating our products and taking out all unnecessary additives to keep them as natural and nutritious as possible; we’re listing ingredient descriptions on our packaging that people recognise rather than code numbers, which mean nothing to the consumer; we have educated children on the benefits of eating vegetables through our School Veggie Patches program; and, we’re highlighting that our vegetables and fruits come straight from the goodness of the earth, so you can expect the same flavour and nutrition you’d get if you picked them from your own garden. “Ah McCAIN, you’ve done it again!”
*McCAIN'S head office is located in Ballarat, Australia