Hovis has teamed up with a former employee of Diageo Africa to kickstart its marketing agenda and ramp up innovation.

Philip Gladman, former marketing and innovation director at Diageo Africa, has worked to refresh the Smirnoff brand globally and will be tasked with boosting the Hovis brand within the £4bn baking industry, along with the rest of his team. The four-strong team will begin working with Hovis on 1 September.

The focus on marketing follows the launch of Hovis as a private company in April this year, when it announced plans to invest £200m in its growth strategy over the next five years, including a “significant” marketing spend.

Product developments brought to market this year include breads flavoured with sundried tomato, pesto, and fiery red peppers and the extension of the Seed Sensations range into a granary nine-seeded batch loaf.

Bob Spooner, chief executive of Hovis, said: “We are delighted to announce this collaboration with Philip Gladman and the appointment of a team of outstanding marketing and innovation professionals to boost our marketing and innovation capability.

"One of the key strands of our growth strategy is innovation and this move will enable us to accelerate our new product development pipeline. We are already enjoying success with Hovis, but we know we can grow our fantastic brand further and faster.

"We are already famous for our healthy, natural and tasty credentials. We call this ‘Hovis goodness’ and it will be a key platform as we build the business beyond traditional sliced bread, creating real value for our customers and consumers.”