Meeting caterers’ different needs – McCain Foodservice

Jo Holborn (pictured), marketing & category controller at McCain Foodservice, explains why providing a quality frozen potato range is so important for wholesalers.

Jo Holborn for webHow are you looking to strengthen your relationships with cash & carries and delivered wholesalers?

Alongside advertising and promotions, we give cash & carries and delivered wholesalers access to a broad range of consistently high quality potato products that meet the needs of different caterers. This means they can rely on customer satisfaction and return visits.

They can also rely on the support of a dedicated McCain sales team, which is unique to the sector. Our team is out on the high street, in the workplace, in schools and the healthcare sector, helping caterers to grow their business, which in turn leads to more sales for cash & carries and wholesalers. We also hold sampling sessions and training days, share leads and accompany them on customer visits.

What are the key trends in the foodservice frozen food sector and do you find that wholesalers act on these?

In a crowded market, a key trend is the need for operators to differentiate themselves. We have listened closely to our customers and we know they have three key challenges: getting things right for their customers by meeting expectations, getting things right on their menu by providing access to a wide selection of great products that help them to stand out from the crowd, and sourcing quality ingredients that enable them to work more efficiently.
We have relaunched our ranges in response to these three aspects. Our Original Choice range includes chips, roast potatoes, hash browns and pizza, and is all about ease and convenience and products that keep customers coming back. Making menus memorable is where Our Menu Signatures range comes into its own. This range includes Skin-on Fries, Sweet Potato Fries and Gastro Chips. Last but not least, Our Chef Solutions range is all about natural quality ingredients that help to free up time and resource for chefs to create food they feel proud of.

Are there any cash & carries/delivered wholesalers you wish to highlight as being particularly progressive?

Speaking to caterers, those wholesalers who put customer service first get the best feedback and enjoy the most success. This includes simple things like making sure the ordering experience is straightforward and ensuring that caterers are getting the products they order, not own-label equivalents.

Do even Michelin-starred restaurants use frozen chips?

You would be surprised how many fine dining chefs swear by McCain products! Our McCain Chef Solutions Simply range is particularly popular as it offers consistent quality whatever the season.

How can wholesalers boost sales and profits of frozen potato products?

A better quality product will keep customers coming back. We believe our three new ranges enable operators to take a fresh look at their potato offer, helping to grow businesses sustainably. For example, lots of our customers have traditionally struggled to maximise sales of jacket potatoes but since launching McCain Chef Solutions Jackets, sales have soared for many of them. For example, Jeeves Sandwich Bar in Cullompton, Devon, is now selling more than 40 jackets every week, having sold only one or two per week previously.
I would also love to see partnerships develop further to share category insight, trends, and identify gaps in the distributor portfolio.

Can you share any news relating to forthcoming product launches?

Although only 1% of the population have coeliac disease, around 10% are actively looking to remove or reduce gluten from their diet, so it’s vital that caterers can offer great tasting gluten-free menus – particularly favourites such as chips. We have redeveloped McCain Menu Signatures Traditional and Gourmet Chips to make them gluten-free. Our research among operators confirmed they perform and taste better as well.

Is there anything else our readers should know about McCain Foodservice’s UK operation or strategy?

We’re committed to using British potatoes wherever possible and work closely with more than 300 growers across the UK. We’re also the UK’s largest purchaser of potatoes, buying approximately 15% of the annual British crop.

Tel: McCain Foodservice (0800) 146573

Published Date: July 28, 2016
Category: Meet the Manufacturer