Hovis is to inject some much-needed excitement into the part-baked bread market with a range of rolls and bloomer loaves.

The UK's second-biggest bread brand claimed part-baked was dominated by "anaemic-looking baguettes" and that it would be the first bread brand to invest in the sector.

Its Hovis Homebake range will comprise a white bloomer (rsp: £1.59), granary bloomer (rsp: £1.65), pack of four white rolls (rsp: £1.65) and pack of four granary rolls (rsp: £1.69). The granary products were a first for the part-baked ­market, said Hovis brand ­owner Premier Foods.

The ambient part-baked market is worth £67m and is growing 1.8% year-on-year [SymphonyIRI 52w/e 16 April]. Lack of consumer awareness meant just 40% of households bought into the category, and those who did only purchased it six times a year on average, said Premier [Kantar Worldpanel 52w/e 26 December 2010].

The range would take the brand into a category that had less reliance on promotions than standard bread, and offered a higher premium, added the company. Bakers have struggled to retain value in bread, with take-home sales of wrapped bread down 1.5% in the past year [Kantar 52w/e 20 February 2011].

"We believe we can double the value of this sector by meeting consumer demand," said Hovis category controller Ian Harris, adding that, unlike plant bread, part-baked was often an ­incremental purchase.

According to Mintel's latest Bread and Baked Goods UK report, 27% of consumers have bought part-baked bread or rolls, but this figure rises to 38% among households earning £50,000-plus. The opportunity to attract higher-earning consumers made the segment particularly interesting, said senior food and drink analyst Kiti Soininen.

Hovis' move into part-baked was in keeping with its nostalgic brand message, said Tom Ellis, strategy and research director of branding agency 1HQ. "There is something very emotionally strong about baking bread," he added.