Sales: £288.7m (-17.7%)
It’s not quite toast yet, but what was once Britain’s biggest bread brand continues to fall down our ranking, having lost an eyewatering £62.1m in the past year, the greatest loss of any brand in our ranking.
Look no further than the brand’s 13.9% fall in average price - again, the greatest decline in this year’s top 100 - for the key source of Hovis’ loss of value.
With bread a key weapon in the price war, Hovis has been the biggest casualty of the past year’s hostilities.
Hovis isn’t rolling over, however. In September it entered the sandwich alternatives market with white, wholemeal and Best of Both sandwich thins; a month later it began its first TV ad push in thee years with a new version of the classic ‘boy on bike’ ad to back its fortified Good Inside range.
Hovis is going big on health, in a bid to distance itself from negative health associations with white bread. The Good Inside range boasts containing omega-3 from seeds, wheatgerm and fibre and Hovis claims it is the “healthiest bread on the market”.
It’s also relaunched the premium Seed Sensations range, adding Seed Sensations Chia Bread in February - the first attempt by any of the big bread brands to tap booming sales of chia - and a limited-edition protein-rich Sunflower & Pumpkin Seed loaf.
“Bread with bits is worth £202m and Hovis is outperforming the sector, at 5.5% unit growth,” says category controller Simon Hancock. “We’re always looking to develop exciting products that meet the functional needs of consumers, as well as deliver on taste.”