Hovis is looking to tap the growing premium bread market with the launch of a white bloomer baked with sourdough and a seeded batch loaf.

The company said it was focused on investing in its core bakery lines, and had recognised that the premium sector was driving growth in the bread market as consumers traded up. According to Nielsen data, premium bread sales have grown 4.5% year on year [w/e 8 September 2018].

The new Hovis products are rolling out to Morrisons and Ocado this week, while the seeded batch loaf goes into Asda stores on 7 October.

Hovis said the white bloomer had been developed for white bread consumers who were looking for something “extra special”, adding it was “baked with a traditional sourdough which has been slowly fermented for 72 hours to create a unique depth of flavour and character”. The loaf contains 4% wheat sourdough.

The baker said the seeded batch loaf would “provide a richer taste with bigger and crunchier seeds, 64% of the seed blend being toasted sunflower seeds, and deliver a softer texture through its batch bake”. It will be available in 800g and 400g sizes.

“Hovis is a 132-year-old brand that has never been prepared to rest on its laurels, listening to its customers and delivering innovation to meet their changing needs,” said Hovis senior brand manager Hannah Vose. “Our innovation team consistently create products that delight our consumers and, as a result, we have seen strong value and unit performance.

“Our continued investment into product development and the launch of our new Seeded Batch and White Bloomer loaves will drive our competitive advantage within the market and capitalise on consumer demand.”

Hovis’ launch follows the roll-out of an 800g Warburtons thick-sliced Toastie loaf with sourdough, and the launch of wrapped bloomer loaves as part of Roberts’ brand revamp.