McCain - reformulation case studies

“McCain Foods (GB) is proud to produce high quality products which allow our consumers to enjoy the natural, nutritious and great taste of potatoes as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

We will continue to innovate to ensure our products are as healthy as they can be, in particular striving to make ongoing reductions in saturated fat and added salt”

Bill Bartlett, Corporate Affairs Director, McCain


  • McCain takes the nutritional content of its products very seriously and for many years has been making sure its products are as healthy as they can be.
  • Added salt levels have been reduced by more than 20% and saturated fat levels by more than 70%.
  • In addition to consumer research, McCain works with public sector partners, including the FSA, constantly to address reformulation.
  • A dedicated innovations department has been created to focus on product reformulation opportunities.
  • Saturated fat levels have been reduced thanks to investment in oils and production techniques.

McCain takes the nutritional content of its products very seriously and for many years has been making sure its products are as healthy as they can be, in particular striving to make ongoing reductions in saturated fat and added salt.

McCain chipsThe company has achieved its position as the UK's number one provider of frozen chips and potato products by constantly innovating to provide high quality products, making sure its consumers enjoy potatoes' natural, nutritious and great taste.

A dedicated innovations department in Scarborough ensures that where product reformulation options are possible, or indeed needed, opportunities are pursued.

Back in the 1980s, McCain developed 5% Fat Oven Chips, which offer a healthy alternative to one of the nation's favourite foods. Simply prepared – using potatoes that are washed, peeled, cut, cooked and then frozen – they contain no added salt and are naturally low in saturated fat.

Building on this, last year the entire potato products range converted to using sunflower oil in preparation – a healthier option. This change has decreased saturated fat levels by over 70%, meaning an average level of 0.8% saturated fat across the retail and foodservice ranges.

McCain has also introduced new, more efficient production techniques, such as dedicated oil recovery systems, which draw surface oil away from the product through specially designed conveyor belts.

McCain continues to work with public sector partners to identify ways to decrease added salt levels, seeking reformulations which do not affect the quality of the finished product and allow for changing consumer tastes.

Efforts to date have reduced potato products' added salt levels by more than 20% and McCain is committed to engaging in a rolling programme of adjustment.

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Last reviewed: 06 Jul 2009