Feeding The World

McCain Foods takes a global approach in its industry

McCain is one of Canada’s best recognized brands, but it still surprises people to learn that it produces at least one in four of the French fries eaten around the world.

It was in 1957 that the company’s founders — four McCain brothers — began their business in the rural community of Florenceville, New Brunswick. More than 60 years since these humble beginnings, McCain Foods is now a global business with sales in more than 160 countries on six continents. As a privately owned family business, the company places great emphasis on its values.

Since its founding, McCain’s teams around the world have been guided by the idea that “good ethics is good business.” The combination of quality products, talented staff and dedication to its customers have enabled McCain Foods to achieve annual sales in excess of C$10 billion. 

In addition to the well-known McCain brand of French fries, McCain Foods, Inc. is involved in a variety of other businesses, in the areas of prepared potatoes and appetizers, potato seed cultivation, transportation and more.

“We believe that McCain has an important role to play in making food systems more planet-friendly.” 


Since its founding in 1987, McCain Foods Japan has been offering French fries nationwide. It has local sales offices in Tokyo and Osaka, and distribution centers throughout Japan to ensure on-time delivery. While the company is a food service and retail industry provider, much of its business focuses on food service, including fast-food outlets and restaurants. 

Takashi Nagai
President and managing director McCain Foods (Japan)

As Takashi Nagai, the company’s managing director explains, one of the things that makes the company stand out is its comprehensive support system. Specialized teams in each business unit work closely with McCain’s global teams to meet customers’ needs in a timely manner. McCain Foods Japan’s services are not limited to wholesale, and they handle direct sales in foreign currencies as needed. 

Another McCain strength is its ability to provide a stable supply, Nagai says. “Our team prevents product shortages on a regular basis through an inventory forecast and reviewing process. In the event of a product shortage due to a force majeure event, such as transportation delays or crop-related issues, we are able to propose an alternative product in a timely manner, since we have production bases in various countries.”  


Nagai adds that one of the company’s current goals is to increase its brand awareness and visibility in the Japanese market. With this in mind, in addition to further expansion at retail stores, McCain Japan is increasing its online presence by being active on Instagram (@mccainfoods_japan) and Twitter (@McCain_Foods_JP), as well as connecting with customers and consumers.

According to Nagai, the company is also planning to launch a mobile-friendly website and e-commerce site for businesses and indi­vi­duals, making it easy to buy McCain products in Japan.  

“We have also recently launched smaller size packs for limited outlets — from 600 to 650 grams — to meet the needs of Japanese customers. We believe this will accelerate the penetration of our brand among widely spread small individual stores and end users in the future. During the pandemic, the delivery and take-away businesses have seen significant growth in the food service industry. 

“With our innovative SureCrisp fries, which were specifically developed for delivery and take-away — to ensure long-lasting crispiness — we are sure to be able to further support this rising business category by providing a new taste and texture experience.”


Sustainability is at the heart of McCain’s business objective, Nagai pointed out. “As the world becomes increasingly concerned about sustainability, we believe that McCain has an important role to play in making food systems more planet-friendly as a global leader in food production. We aim to make good food with a clear commitment to the grower, the community, the environment and the consumer, so that all can enjoy our delicious food for generations to come.” 

And these efforts are paying off. McCain was recently ranked 55th out of 350 companies in the Food and Agriculture Benchmark, which evaluates the impact of companies on the global food system.  

Nagai says the company has further plans. “While we have been particularly recognized for our environmental commitments to tackle climate change, there is still room to grow and improve, especially in terms of nutrition and social indicators. We will continue to strengthen our performance in these areas through our commitment to strong foundations and our sustainability strategy.” 

Related Content