Award Winning

Innovative Technology award: McCain Family Cookbook brought to you by Food24

Agency: New Media
Client: McCain
Award: Innovative Technology
mccain family cookbook


McCain undertook a campaign in 2020-21 with a focus on family and meaningful mealtime connections, underpinned by the functional benefits of frozen vegetables. A key component of the brief to Food24 was to drive reach as well as “new news” in the form of communications innovation, with a special focus on the format of a cookbook.

Acquired by New Media in 2018, Food24 is South Africa’s largest food website, generating up to a million page views per month. Aimed at South Africans with a keen interest in food and those who want to learn and experiment more, Food24 is the go-to platform for home cooking inspiration. We aim to create beautifully packaged food and drinks content in the form of accessible and easy-to-understand recipes and handy educational articles.

Target demographic

South African food aficionados and family purchasing decision makers seeking mealtime inspiration.


Food24 offered the client scale of reach, recipe archive and development, an integrated tech and print solution, and video content production. The team collaborated with New Media’s in-house tech solutions agency, Swipe iX, on a first-of-its-kind direct-to-consumer cookbook print-on-demand platform for McCain.

That’s a mouthful, but essentially the McCain Family Cookbook brought to you by Food24 gives users the opportunity to make their ultimate family recipe keepsake. The Cookbook Creator tool lets you upload six of your own family recipes, complete with pictures or notes. It then prompts you to choose five categories from Food24, each with six recipes. The categories to choose from are baking, desserts, starters, vegan, vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, BBQ, pasta, salads and under 30-minute recipes. Six of Food24’s most popular recipes and six McCain recipes make up the remaining 12, for a total of 48. You can also personalise the name of your cookbook. Once the cookbook is built by the Food24 user, it is printed and couriered to their doorstep.

The project was first briefed to Swipe iX in early September 2020, at which point we were able to quickly produce an agile costing model and project specifications document. Active scoping and design commenced two weeks later and development was initiated before month’s end. Development took us through till the end of November, which means the entire project was completed in under three months. For a product that presented such unique challenges, we needed to build a system that provided equally unique solutions. A world-class team of full-stack developers, product strategists and usability experts enabled Swipe to create these bespoke, technology-agnostic platforms custom built to meet the specific needs of a client without sacrificing scalability, security or turnaround time.

mccain family cookbook

Marketing was driven through Food24’s above-the-line elements and the creation of a dedicated section for McCain content on the site, as well as consistent social media promotion, newsletters, and article and video content promotion through Food24. Macro- and micro-influencer engagement and webinars were all included in the mix.

McCain created a media plan that ensured the campaign was through-the-line, driving not only brand equity but also sales and brand distinction. They ran TV commercials featuring testimonials from consumers who had ordered their personalised book. A point-of-sale campaign, integrated with WhatsApp-driven vouchering, drove consumers from the frozen aisle to their book to drive meal inspiration around using McCain products, and tactical email campaigns also drove growth for McCain’s CRM platforms. Meanwhile, voucher competitions on social media helped to grow audiences for both McCain and Food24.


The McCain Family Cookbook brought to you by Food24 helped position the McCain brand as mealtime thought leaders and develop true utility for Food24’s audience.

The printed cookbook brought the digital-only Food24 brand into people’s homes in the form of a physical touchpoint, together with McCain – another well-known food brand in the South African market. Food24 and McCain have strong synergies around our values – particularly authenticity, relatability and accessible inspiration.

November 2020 – April 2021

Objective 1: Reach

• 1 463 384 above-the-line banner impressions versus a KPI of 400 000

• 118 938 unique mailer reach

• Social impressions: 5 359 631 (893 271 monthly versus a monthly KPI of 371 747)

• Social reach: 4 390 898 (731 816 monthly versus a monthly KPI of 154 440)

Objective 2: On-time delivery

The project was initially briefed in September 2020 and formally commenced in mid-October 2020, with an ambitious live-date set for the Cookbook Creator tool of 24 November 2020. This was achieved.

Client testimonial

“2020 may be the Year of the Pandemic, but it was also the Year of Home Cooking. As a family-owned business, McCain cherishes the opportunity to connect over food and maintain our sense of family and community. We make real food that people love and this cookbook feeds real moments of togetherness. We’ve partnered with Food24 on this project to provide a product that families and friends can keep for years and years to come, creating new memories while cherishing old ones.” – Danielle de Villiers, the Senior Brand Manager at McCain

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