Warburtons wholegrain bread loaf

Warburtons is looking to inject a touch of premium into the everyday bread market and boost sales with four new ‘extra special’ loaves.

The company said the new lines - Old English White, Malted Grain & Seeds, Wholegrain & Oat, and Honey Wheat - responded to consumer demand for “variety, taste and depth of flavour” by offering premium ingredients while ­retaining cues around Warburtons’ traditional baking heritage.

Honey Wheat ­contains Mexican honey, while Old English White is made with a sponge and dough method for a “rich and flavoursome” white bread.

Warburtons has invested £750,000 in new equipment - including special-size tins - to produce the loaves, which went into Sainsbury’s and Waitrose this week (rsp: £1.39/400g). Further retailers are set to list the lines post-Christmas.

Innovation director Darren Littler said the loaves would appeal to existing Warburtons shoppers looking for something “extra special,” though the company was also confident the NPD would attract new shoppers to the brand. The packaging had been designed to offer premium cues alongside the core Warburtons branding, and allowed consumers to easily see what the loaves looked like, he added. “It is about offering that little bit of extra specialness by offering a lovely balance of new ingredients and tradition - and remaining affordable.”

The launches come as sales of the overall Warburtons brand have been struggling, with value and volume down by nearly 10% year on year [Nielsen MAT 52 w/e 6 September].

“We are continuing to respond to changing consumer needs with innovation and NPD, like this new range of delicious loaves, which are vital to maintaining healthy sales,” Warburtons said.