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In the forefront down under.

In the Forefront Down Under

With a 20.9% market share making it the second largest frozen food manufacturer in Australia, McCain Foods (Aust) Pty. Ltd. is in the forefront of new products from healthy-eating meals to frozen pizza slices.

McCain has been in Australia since 1976, and its three QFF plants there supply not only Australia itself but, through McCain Foods (NZ) Ltd., New Zealand as well. While some vegetable production is carried on in New Zealand, the bulk of McCain's output comes from plants in Smithon, Tasmania; Marrickville, New South Wales; and Ballarat, Victoria.

Heading up the operation is John Clements, who wears two hats as managing director of both the Australian and New Zealand companies. As deputy director of both is Basil Hargrove. Rounding out the senior executives in Australia are Paul Turner as manufacturing director, David Boyle as marketing director, Alan Pellatt as retail sales director, and Mike Dawson as foodservice sales director.

The plant at Ballarat is responsible for more items than any of the others. Its range includes complete meals (veal parmigiana, roast beef, etc.), Budget Gourmet dinners (lasagne, macaroni & cheese, lamb curry, sweet & sour pork, etc.), and such specialties as dim sum and potato cakes. But perhaps it is best known for its rather elaborate range of french fries and pizza.

From Fries to Pies

Fries have always gone wherever McCain goes, and McCain has gone all out in Australia with shoestring, straight cut and crinkle cut fries for both retail and foodservice; there are also retail chunk cut and foodservice steak fries, and even a cholesterol-free foodservice pack. In pizza, new products include not only the slices and singles but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles microwave pizzas to cash in on the comic and cartoon fad. Ham & pineapple and cheese & bacon seem to be the most popular toppings for both adult and children's pizza.

French fries are produced at the Smithon plant, too. Smithton is also the center of McCain's frozen vegetable production, which covers all the standard items (corn and corn cobettes, peas, beans, broccoli, mixed vegetables, etc.), plus a range of blends including Chinese and Japanese stir-fry vegetables, cauliflower in white sauce, chunky homestyle vegetables and such combos as Florentine and Normandie. Basic vegetables are frozen at the Timaru plant in New Zealand.

Marrickville, near Sydney, produces frozen meat, fruit and vegetable pies for both retail and foodservice. Some are packaged under the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle banner, others for private label.

Lots of Introductions

Meanwhile, McCain continues to press new product introductions. Healthy Choice dinners (fillet of lamb, fillet of veal and glazed chicken) and Looney Tunes kids' meals (spaghetti and meat, chicken nuggets, fish fingers and macaroni & cheese) both debuted this year. The range of potato products has been extended to include SuperSpirals and SuperCrisps fries, tater bites, oval and wedge-shaped hash browns, and potato scallops. Product improvements, as in meat pies, are continuing apace.

The acquisition of Alpine Foods Ltd. has given the McCain Group its first manufacturing facility in New Zealand. The Timaru-based company, which has been renamed McCain Foods (NZ) Ltd., produces large quantities of frozen peas, potatoes, plums, carrots and a mixed vegetable range.

McCain Foods President Wallace McCain noted that bringing Alpine Foods into the fold helps to secure a long term supply of frozen vegetables to meet future requirements. He added that the bulk of the operation's production will continue to be exported to customers in such countries as Australia and Japan.

PHOTO : The extensive McCain Pizza line in Australia ranges from Ham & Pineapple to Microwave Supreme.

PHOTO : Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been enlisted by McCain to sell pies in Australia.

PHOTO : You name it, McCain's vegetable garden down under has it.

PHOTO : McCain's factory in Ballarat turns out a wide assortment of Budget Gourmet frozen dishes including Shepherd's Pie, Lasagne, Mild Lamb Curry, and Sweet and Sour Pork.

PHOTO : The McCain Foods factory in New Zealand packs a wide range of vegetables.
COPYRIGHT 1991 E.W. Williams Publications, Inc.
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Title Annotation:McCain Foods Proprietary Ltd.; Special Section: Canada's International Frozen Food Company
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Previous Article:McCain: a very continental name.
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