Hovis is to use the pulling power of its Premier Foods brand stablemates to encourage consumers to eat more bread.

The UK's second-biggest bread brand will appear in creatives alongside fellow Premier-owned brands Sun-Pat peanut butter, Gayle's honey, Hartley's jam and Branston pickle later this year as part of a wider ongoing initiative to boost the profile of bread at breakfast and lunchtime, Hovis said this week.

The new marketing direction kicks off in April with the month-long Wholemeal Challenge campaign fronted by Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton. The push would challenge the consumer perception that cereals provided a healthier breakfast than toast, said Hovis marketing director Jon Goldstone.

"Kellogg's has done a brilliant job in communicating that cereals make for the healthiest breakfast and the bread business has lost out in the past ­decade," he said.

Goldstone added that he expected other Premier Foods brands to feature in the new ads, the launch date of which has yet to be decided.

"There are many opportunities we can exploit in hooking up with other Premier brands," he said. "It is easy to forget Premier is such a young business only two years old as a group and I cannot remember this joint brand marketing approach happening before."

Kingsmill ran a Wake up to Wholemeal campaign last year to communicate the same benefits of bread. But Goldstone said its rival's 0.4% sales growth over the past year [Nielsen] "suggested it wasn't very successful".