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McCain digital-to-print cookbook creator

Website • UX • UI • CMS • Analytics • AWS

Project Background

Swipe iX, Food24 and McCain collaborated on an internationally award-winning digital-to-print cookbook that took personalisation to a new level. This innovative project brought technology and print together, creating something that truly belonged to the creator.

The Challenge

In 2020, McCain undertook a Food24 campaign with a focus on family and meaningful mealtime connections, underpinned by the functional benefits of frozen vegetables. The aim was to drive reach as well as “new news” in the form of communication innovation, and provide mealtime inspiration to family purchasing decision makers. New Media owned brand Food24 enlisted the assistance of Swipe iX.

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Taking On The Job

Introducing the McCain Family Cookbook brought to you by Food24 and built by Swipe iX. This project combined:

  • A world-class team of full-stack developers, product strategists and usability experts
  • South Africa’s foremost food content experts
  • A through-the-line marketing campaign led by an awesome client

Custom-built by Swipe iX, the Cookbook Creator tool gave users the opportunity to make their ultimate family cookbook, allowing them to upload their own recipes and include a selection from Food24 and McCain. Once built online, it was professionally printed and couriered to their door.

From the outset, we knew that keeping the user experience intuitive and simple would be key. The process needed to follow a logical progression and be as frictionless as possible to ensure users were able to build their cookbook from start to finish in a single sitting. One specific challenge we took particular steps to address was designing an experience that would work as seamlessly on mobile devices as it would on larger desktop interfaces. Complicated drag-and-drop functionality or requiring multiple actions to be completed on a single page would make for a cumbersome workflow. To resolve this we designed the entire experience from a mobile-first perspective, ensuring that every step would work as well on the smallest of screens.

Another key challenge was identifying the optimal integrations between the various systems involved. From ordering and payment to printing, tracking and delivery, each component part of the system needed to blend effortlessly with the others to make the end-user journey simple while providing the robust tools necessary for admin users to manage the end-to-end workflow.

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The Solution

We architected using a serverless approach on Amazon Web Services, and our world-class team enabled us to custom build this bespoke, technology-agnostic platform to meet the specific needs of the client without sacrificing scalability, security or turnaround time.

With high performance and support being a necessity, we used the latest development methodologies. The REST API was hosted on API Gateway using AWS Lambda as the computing platform. The frontend, hosted on an S3 bucket on AWS, was built using SCSS and a modular approach, which maintained clean code, provided great functionality and allowed for clean and easy theming. The SCSS also followed an approach of very strong inheritance, which ensured that it was extremely difficult for the widget styles to be affected by any UI enhancements. On the JavaScript side, both the CMS frontend and the Cookbook Creator frontend were built on the React JavaScript framework, combined with Typescript and Redux-Saga. React allows for building fast and dynamic widgets with wide browser support and easy integration with vanilla JavaScript and other tools. Its tiny size and exceptional performance made it an excellent choice for building a fast, responsive web application. To bring it all together, Webpack was used as the workflow and processor tool to allow the JavaScript and SCSS to be validated, compiled, minified and ready to run. The infrastructure and deployments were managed using Terraform.

The Result

The Cookbook Creator helped position McCain as mealtime thought leaders and developed true utility for Food24’s audience. At the same time, the printed cookbook brought the digital-only Food24 brand into people’s homes in the form of a physical touchpoint.

In the marketing campaign period ending April 2021, the project achieved:

  • 1.4 million banner impressions (vs a KPI of 400 000)
  • 5.3 million social impressions (893 271 monthly vs a KPI of 371 747)
  • 4.3 million social reach (731 816 monthly vs a KPI of 154 440)

The site was live between November 2020 and September 2021. During this time, we achieved a 13.7% conversion rate (site visits vs completed bespoke cookbook orders, free generic cookbook downloads and CRM sign-ups).

To cap it off, at the 2021 International Content Marketing Awards in London, the McCain Family Cookbook brought to you by Food24 won gold for Best Use of Innovative Technology.

Client Quote

"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, Senior Brand Manager at McCain







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