Premier Foods In A Pickle

The UK's largest food manufacturer, Premier Foods, today report a 5.1% slump in Q1 sales. They say that although sales of it's core brands like Hovis, Branston Pickle, Mister Kipling and Bisto rose slightly during the period, non-branded product sales fell by 13%.

It seems that marketing of these household names looks to be the way to go for the rest of 2010, with Premier announcing that it will spend more money on TV promotions for products like it's 100% British Hovis range.

It did concede however that it expects to lose market share in the second half of the year, as bread rivals Warburton's and Kingsmill also step up promotional activity.

Warburtons is reputedly the second-largest grocery brand in the country, behind Coca-Cola, with sales of GBP581 million in 2009. That beats Hovis by almost GBP150 million for a slice of the GBP2 billion bread market.

Warburtons were supposed to be marketing an all-British loaf for the first time in its 133-year history sometime in Q1 of 2010, although I can't seem to find any confirmation that they've actually launched it yet.

Two of the UK's largest bread manufacturers fighting over market share and going head to head with 100% British loaves can't be a bad thing for UK wheat growers though surely?