Premier Foods hails marketing after sales jump

Premier Foods is to step up marketing activity for its eight “power brands” after claiming that the decision to throw most of its marketing budget behind brands it thinks have the greatest growth potential led to a 1.3% uplift in first quarter sales.


Sales grew £427m in the three months to 31 March, up from £421m in the first quarter of 2011. Income from power brands such as Hovis, Mr Kipling and Bisto increased 3.7% to £215m, while sales of “support” brands such as SunPat and Birds grew 0.5% in the period.

In January, the company announced it would double marketing spend on the core brands to £50m this year to grow sales. It has since launched campaigns to trumpet its range of products as well pushes for Mr Kipling and Hovis.

The investment in marketing is part of a wider strategy to boost income and help offset the impact of its ballooning debt. It has also sold a number of brands and axed hundreds of jobs to cut costs.

Michael Clarke, chief executive at Premier Foods , says: “We have a solid programme in the second quarter to support Power Brands sales including further advertising, targeted promotions and new product innovation such as the recently launched Hovis Farmer’s Loaf with 100% British wheat, Batchelors Deli-Box range of convenient meals, Ambrosia rice snack pots and a limited edition range of Mr Kipling cakes celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.”

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