Cavendish has appointed a French fry ‘sommelier’

Who: Cavendish Farms, with Believeco for strategy and creative.

What: “The French Fry Sommelier,” a quirky campaign that is surreptitiously promoting the frozen French fry brand, roughly timed for National French Fry Day (July 13).

When & Where: The campaign launched on July 6, with a channel mix that reflects its Millennial and Gen Z target audience. It’s being led by a series of TikTok ads, as well as influencer partnerships, and a dedicated website at

Why: Cavendish is battling for a share of the country’s approximately US$278.6 million frozen processed potatoes market, which is dominated by McCain (which also launched its own campaign for National French Fry Day this week). According to the French Fry Sommelier’s website, he—and by extension Cavendish—are committed to “elevating the greatest of all foods, one fry at a time.”

Dan Strasser, executive vice-president, executive creative director at Believeco, said that Cavendish is active on social, and wanted to do something to mark French fries’ big day. “We wanted to be in that conversation around fries,” he said. “There are some pretty big companies that also tout their fries [on National French Fry Day], and we wanted to come from the side and jump into that conversation.”

How: The campaign leans hard into the kinda goofy idea of a French Fry Sommelier, a fry expert who has been trained and certified at the famous (and entirely fictional) Chateau Le Bon Frites in Marmot, France. It’s based on the brand’s positioning of “Made our way, enjoyed your way,” said Strasser.

“[We went] down a bit of a rabbit-hole about how particular people can be about how to consume fries,” he said. “What are the right kind of sauces, can the sauce be on the plate or should it be on the side, or even which cut is optimal for fry creations. As the team was talking about things, people weren’t agreeing on the right way to consume fries, so it felt like an opportunity to provoke conversation on social channels.”

Through a series of nine comedic TikTok videos, the French Fry Sommelier dispenses advice on everything fry-related, from why ketchup should only be used on weekdays (with mayonnaise for weekends); explains why all dips should go on the side of the fries rather than the top (“if you get the sauce on the top, it’s kind of a limiting experience,” he explains); and why waffle fries are “a perfect vessel upon which to build a unique and stunning dish.”

There is no overt Cavendish branding on any of the campaign elements to start, although the company will eventually begin commenting on the videos and engaging in some TikTok duet videos as a way of promoting its involvement. “It’s about creating a conversation that allows Cavendish to jump in and be a part of it,” said Strasser. “At a certain point the gig will be up, but we think there’ll be a lot of love for a brand just having some fun around people’s preferences around French fries.”

And we quote: “We believe there’s a million ways to enjoy Cavendish Farm French fries. It’s exciting to take part in conversations that celebrate the many ways to elevate and enjoy frozen French fries at home.” — Julie Levesque, vice-president of marketing, Cavendish Farms


Chris Powell