FAQs

Got a question about our spuds? Or how we make them into chips?
Have a look at our most frequently asked questions below and you should find what you’re looking for. If not, contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Find out more

About our potatoes

What ingredients do you use in your products?

At McCain, we take simple ingredients and prepare them with care. No artificial colours or flavours – just real, convenient food you can trust and enjoy.
Most of our products simply consist of potato and sunflower oil. Some of our products have coatings and spice mixes for added flavour. For more information on our products, including ingredients, cooking instructions and nutritional values – visit the ‘PRODUCTS’ page of our website.

Does McCain use Genetically Modified (GM) potatoes?

We don’t use GM potatoes in our products. We comply with all regulations on government recommendations relating to either the use or the labelling of GM ingredients.

Production process

How do you make your products?

When it comes to making McCain products, our process is simple. For example, with our original McCain 5% Fat oven chips, we just take a potato, wash, peel, cut, lightly fry in sunflower oil and freeze.

Do you use quality ingredients?

We work with trusted partner suppliers who provide us with high quality ingredients to make our products. We also ensure traceability of our potatoes, which is our core ingredient. Every batch of potatoes delivered to McCain comes with its own ‘passport’ – giving us traceability of our products right back to the field where the potatoes were grown.

Are your products Halal?

Where our products carry the Halal certification, consumers can be assured that our products are made using approved ingredients and cooking and preparation methods.

Health & diet

Are potatoes good for you?

Potatoes can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. They are a virtually fat-free, energy-rich carbohydrate that contains fibre, vitamin C, potassium and iron.

Are chips fattening?

As a responsible food manufacturer, we want to ensure that everyone in the family can enjoy our products as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
We use simple ingredients and a simple process to make our products. Most of our chips are simply made using potatoes and sunflower oil. Our original oven chips are only 5% fat and our Rustic Chips are only 3%.
In fact, 97% of our products have only green or amber nutritional indicators across saturated fat, fat, salt and sugar.

Why do you use sunflower oil?

We know our customers want tasty food that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. That’s why all of our chips are prepared in sunflower oil.
Sunflower oil is low in saturated fats, but high in polyunsaturated fats, which are thought to keep our hearts healthy.

Isn’t sunflower oil fattening?

Sunflower oil is low in saturated fats (which are bad for our hearts), but high in the polyunsaturated fats (which may help to keep our hearts healthy).

Is there a lot of salt in your products?

In many of our products no salt is added. With recipe reformulation, we have reduced salt in our products by 22% since 2001. As an early signatory to the UK Department of Health’s 2017 Responsibility Deal salt targets, our commitment in this area continues.

Are your products high in saturated fats?

Currently, 97% of our products carry green or amber nutritional indicators across saturated fat, fat, salt and sugar.
We reduced saturated fat by 70% in our products between 2007 and 2012, through using sunflower oil to lightly fry our products during the manufacturing process.

Do you use artificial ingredients?

We don’t use any artificial colours or flavours in our products.

What are e-numbers and do your products contain any?

E-numbers are codes for standard food additives that have all passed strict safety tests and are considered safe to use throughout the European Union (the ‘E’ of an E number stands for ‘Europe’).*
We aim to only use kitchen cupboard ingredients in our products and our policy is to remove all E-numbers wherever we can.

Full ingredients information for our products can be found on-pack or on the ‘PRODUCTS’ section of this website.

*Source, the European Food Council website

Are any of your products suitable for consumers avoiding gluten?

A number of our products are suitable for a non-gluten diet. If you go to the ‘PRODUCTS’ section of our website, you’ll be able to see nutritional information for all of our products.

Do you display allergens on your product packaging?

We clearly label the most common allergens on our packs, where applicable (you’ll see them in capital letters and bolded on the ingredients panel).
You can also see allergen information for all our products on the ‘PRODUCTS’ section of our website.

What are your healthiest products?

While all of our products can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet, we offer consumers a range of healthier products to choose from. Our Rustic Chips contain 3% fat and less than 1% saturated fat, and our Ready Baked Jackets boast all green nutritional indicators, which means they are low in fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar.

Isn’t fresh food better for you than frozen?

There is no firm evidence that states fresh produce is better than frozen, or vice versa. Frozen food does have a number of benefits. With frozen, you only cook what you need – the rest can be stored and used at a later date, offering greater portion control and potentially reducing waste. And, of course, frozen food is convenient to cook, requiring very little preparation.*

*British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF).

Food labelling & packaging

How do I know if McCain products are fattening or not?

As a responsible food manufacturer, we want to ensure that everyone in the family can enjoy our products as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
We’re committed to supporting our consumers in making informed purchasing decisions. We do this by having colour coded nutritional labels and Reference Intake guidance on the front of our packs.
Full nutritional information can be found on the back of our packs and in the ‘PRODUCTS’ section of our website.

For more information on colour-coded nutritional labelling click here.

What is ‘Reference Intake’?

Reference Intake gives information on the recommended amounts of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt needed each day. All of our products are labelled with Reference Intake information based on an average adult – making it easier for our consumers to see how each product can contribute to a balanced diet.

For more information on Reference Intake, click here.

Do you use colour-coded nutritional labelling on your packs?

Yes. We were the first food brand to put colour-coded indicators on our packaging to help our consumers make informed purchasing decisions.

What do the colour-coded nutritional values on the front of your packs mean?

To help consumers choose food that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet, the Department of Health recommends that food brands use a colour code system on the front of their packs. This system clearly displays the product’s fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar content. Green stands for a low content per 100g, amber is medium and red is high.
We were the first food brand to use front-of-pack colour coded nutritional labelling on our products.
For more information on colour-coded nutritional labelling click here.

Can McCain packaging be recycled?

At McCain, we’re committed to being responsible custodians of the environment.
For the vast majority of our products, we use low density polyethylene (LDPE) packaging, which is fully recyclable in areas of the UK where councils collect food grade polyethylene.
Each local authority has their own policy about which materials they recycle, so please check with your local council to confirm whether they recycle food grade polyethylene.

Products for children

Are McCain products ok for my children?

As a family-owned food manufacturer, we want to ensure that everyone in the family can enjoy our products as part of a healthy, balanced diet – including children.
We also have products made with children in mind, including our Smiles.

Do you ever promote your products to children?

As a family-owned food manufacturer, we will always look to promote our products responsibly and will never market our products to children under the age of 12.

What about Smiles? They are children’s products and surely you promote them?

Though these products are made with children in mind, our target audience when promoting our product is always the person in the household who does the supermarket shop, i.e. parents.

Buying our products

Where can I buy McCain products?

The majority of our products are available at major supermarkets across Ireland.

Does McCain give away free vouchers or coupons?

Unfortunately we don’t have any money-off vouchers or coupons available, but we do run different promotions with our retailers every year. Look out for special offers in your local supermarket.
If you would like to know where your nearest stockist is, please contact our customer relations team with your full postcode and they’ll be able to check for you.