Premier Foods pegs growth on brands

Premier Foods, the owner of Hovis, Ambrosia and Bisto, is overhauling its approach to brand, marketing and innovation as part of a new strategy to accelerate growth.

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The company is looking to move away from debt reduction strategies to brand building and has identified six brands in four macro categories where it can significantly grow its share.

Premier Foods has developed a marketing framework including the “Innovation Kitchen” and “Outstanding Marketing at Premier Foods” (OMPF) programmes, which have been developed to create a similar “culture of ongoing learning” that other FMCG companies such as Unilever and P&G have.

The intention is to create a more efficient and cohesive marketing process across the business.

Jon Goldstone, group chief marketing director, says: “We have the scale in the UK of P&G and Unilever in terms of brand sales but our level of sophistication in marketing is some way behind. Improving our capability, our innovation and putting a clear brand strategy in place will grow the business.”

Its Hovis, Mr Kipling, Ambrosia, Bisto, Lloyd Grossman and Sharwood brands have been identified as its core growth drivers and it aims to improve its innovation process and increase the percentage of sales from new products to 10% by 2012 up from 6%.

Premier Foods wants brands to become a bigger part of its business and intends to increase the proportion of its business from branded foods from 52% to 75%.

Goldstone, says it is taking its lead from FMCG companies such as Unilever and P&G by making powerful decisions about which brands to focus on and putting the consumer at the heart of its strategy.

Goldstone was promoted to group marketing director last year in a corporate restructure that introduced the role for the first time alongside its first group chief operating officer in a bid to accelerate the growth of the business.

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