Success down south has helped Bolton-based bakery Warburtons reach the number one spot in bread for the second year running. The company has also revealed plans for a revamp in October to stay ahead of the game.

The brand is up 21% from last year to occupy 33% of the market [Nielsen MAT to July 2008]. Its share of bread sales in the south east and south west has increased by a whopping 96% over this period.

The comparative figures had come from a low base point last year, admitted category director Sarah Miskell, but southern consumers were responding well to the northern brand. The October revamp was part of a strategy to dominate the market across the country, she said.

“More listings and a new national distribution operation are helping us build brand loyalty outside our northern heartland. Five years ago our share in the south would have been zero,” she said. “Our dominance of the market should be strengthened with exciting new advertising and products next month.”

Rival Hovis’ share has dropped 1.5% to 21% over the past year. But marketing manager Jon Goldstone questioned the findings.

“According to data from Independent Research, Hovis has had consistent value growth over the past six months, and we are confident the September relaunch will drive this further,” said Goldstone.

The figures also revealed a revival for Kingsmill. A year ago, Kingsmill’s share had plummeted 11% to 16%, but a February relaunch of Kingsmill Gold has helped it grow 21% to take 17% of the market.