Tesco will remove Hovis Soft White and Best of Both ranges in its Express c-stores.

The supermarket has dropped the Premier Foods brand in favour of Kingsmill Soft White and 50/50 from competitor Allied Bakeries.

According to sister title The Grocer, Tesco Express will continue to stock other Hovis lines, but will start to supply Allied’s Burgen healthy bread brand in the stores.

Despite rebuilding its relationship with Tesco after a trading dispute in 2010, Premier lost a £75m contract with The Co-operative Group to Allied last year. This caused it to restructure its bread and milling business, closing three sites.

In January of this year it defaulted on Hovis’ 100% British wheat-sourcing pledge, due to a poor harvest.

The news comes as workers at a Hovis factory in Wigan went on strike over the introduction of zero-hour contracts last week.

In July, British Baker reported that Premier Foods could sell its bread business for the right price, according to Investec analyst Martin Deboo. Commenting on the release of the firm’s half-year results, Deboo said: “I think Premier would be happy to sell their Hovis bread business for the right price. The problem is: to who?”

In April, Premier Foods chief executive Gavin Darby said he hoped to return the bread business to profitability, rather than chase volume via the wrapped bread market, which has fallen 1.8% according to Kantar Worldpanel in February.