Premier Foods is launching two loaves following the 'rejuvenation' of its Hovis brand.

The company's bakery sales rose 14.4% in the first three months of the year said Premier, adding that Hovis volumes had stabilised in a market that has previously been dominated by Warburtons and Kingsmill.

In a trading statement announcing a 6.3% company-wide sales uplift in the first quarter of the year, Premier said the "fundamental rejuvenation" of the Hovis brand was under way.

"Recovery of commodity cost inflation is the main driver of the growth, and sales are broadly in line with last year," said Premier chief executive Robert Schofield.

Price increases across its bakery brands, including McDougalls and Mothers Pride, helped meet rising commodity prices.

A new Hovis Soft White is replacing its Square White loaf, which is currently the most expensive standard white loaf on the supermarket shelf. Warburtons and Kingsmill loaves cost £1.11 and £1.09 respectively, while Hovis is £1.16.

In September, Premier will relaunch The Hovis Little Brown Loaf, which was first introduced in 1886. The Hovis brand name is embossed into the 400g loaf and it is packed in traditional paper wrapping.

More details of the £6.5m rejuvenation of the Hovis brand are to be unveiled later in the year.

Schofield added that seven former RHM factories would be closed by the end of the year. The Bisto factory in Middlewich, Cheshire, closed its doors for the last time this week, with the loss of 100 jobs.