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McCain Foods Essay

1. Which four Ps make up the marketing mix?


• Product • Price • Place • Promotion

• Product – this has to look and taste good and be made from wholesome ingredients.

• Price – the price has to be attractive to ensure enough sales to generate a profit.

• Place – the place and position of the product in the market is important to compete for market share.

• Promotion – this has to fit the company’s objectives for the product.

2. Explain the different product categories in the Boston Matrix. Why is this a useful tool for businesses?


The Boston Matrix identifies four types in a company’s product portfolio:

• Stars. These products have a high market share in markets that are growing quickly. For example, the Playstation was a star when it was first introduced into the games market.

• Question Marks. These products have a low market share in a growing market. Costs are more than returns as the company tries to increase market share. An example of a Question Mark could be a newly launched fashion item or a new car model.

• Cash Cows. These products have high market share in established markets, for example, cornflakes in the breakfast cereals market.

• Dogs. These products have low market share in a low growth market. A company may look to get rid of these products or invest in marketing to improve sales. For example, DVD recorders have replaced video recorders

3. Analyse how McCain Foods’ promotional strategies tie in with its message ‘It’s All Good’.



A further demonstration of the ‘It’s All Good’ ethos is McCain Foods’ ethical stance on promotion. McCain makes a Commitment not to advertise to children under 12 years old. It also ensures that the retail labeling on its products carries clear information on levels of fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar to help shoppers choose healthier options. Its labeling is in line with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) traffic light scheme and the food industry’s Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA).

McCain also takes part in different types of sponsorship, such as:

• TV show Family Fortunes. This brings the McCain brand to a wide audience through a popular family programme.

• McCain Athletics Networks which encourage young people to get involved in the sport through local clubs. This further supports the company’s approach to balancing calories in with calories out.

4. Consider other promotional strategies McCain could use and say whether they are above- or below-the-line.


Above-the-line promotion is paid for and includes traditional advertising routes such as television, radio and the press. These are good for carrying marketing messages to a large audience. However,it is less easy to measure the impact of these channels, for example, whether a TV advert has increased sales. Special displays or positioning in stores or advertising on supermarket trolleys are also examples of McCain’s above-the-line promotional activity.

Below-the-line promotion can take many forms and is usually more under the control of the business. Typical examples include events or direct mail. McCain uses a combination of below-theline activities including:

• door-to-door leaflet drops or books of vouchers which give customers discounts over a period of time. These help to attract consumers and establish brand loyalty so the consumer buys the product again.

• email newsletter for consumers. This creates a relationship with consumers, which is unusual for a B2B organisation. It not only allows McCain to communicate directly with and listen to consumers, it also enables the business to collect information, for example, about their lifestyles and product choices. This is used for feedback, research and promotions.

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