Hovis Flatbreads

Hovis has unveiled two new ranges as it looks to catch up with its rivals in the burgeoning sandwich alternatives market.

The baker is next week rolling out white, wholemeal and Best of Both versions of sandwich thins (rsp: £1.29/six) and - in what it claims is a first for retail - flatbreads (rsp: £1.59/five). The new products will carry the Good Inside branding that made its debut with Hovis Good Inside loaves in August, and are baked in omega-3 from flaxseed oil, fibre and wheatgerm, and contain 14 ‘essential vitamins & minerals’. The products are being co-manufactured by a third party in what Hovis described as the first “significant” deal of this kind for the brand. 

Hovis is backing the entire Good Inside sub-brand with a £5m push breaking on TV Monday (5 October), which will include VOD, radio, digital and in-store media. 

The launch comes as sales of sliced bread are down 7.2% versus a 14.7% hike in sales of sandwich alternatives [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 19 July 2015]. 

Hovis, which was split off from Premier Foods as a joint venture with US private equity firm The Gores Group 18 months ago, has until now lagged behind rivals such as Warburtons and Kingsmill in the sandwich alternatives market.

“This is the beginning of us catching up in the ‘other bakery’ category,” said Hovis CEO Martyn Wilks, who joined in May. “We are not the first in sandwich thins but we are offering the benefits of Good Inside, and I feel confident in taste-testing against any of our competitors.”

Wilks added the launch of flatbreads had been inspired by products available in the restaurant and fast food trade. “There are lots of wraps and sandwich thins out there but there aren’t flatbreads - but walk into foodservice and they are very in vogue, even in retailers’ own coffee shops.” 

The new Hovis TV campaign would not look like its iconic ad depicting a boy pushing his bike up a hill, said Wilks, but would have some consistency with previous Hovis activity.

“The idea is based on a consumer insight of today’s kids - it links to the idea of bread offering goodness and the energy to get out there and have an adventure - but has a little nod back to the past that will make it quite Hovis despite being different to what we have done before.”