The collaboration follows Hovis’ launch as a private company in April, after owner Premier Foods handed management of the bread brand over to venture capitalists Gores Group, which has a 51 per cent stake in the company which is run as a joint venture between it and Premier.
Gores Group has vowed to deliver a “significant” improvement in sales and profits within six to 12 months of taking the brand on board, which includes the £200m invested in the brand over the next five years.
Hovis generated £655m in sales in 2013.
Gladman was most recently marketing and innovation director for Diageo Africa, but held a number of roles in his 14 years at the company including Western Europe category director and global brand director for Smirnoff, where he was been credited for bringing about resurgence in the vodka brand’s popularity.
He brings on board a marketing and innovation team of former Diageo colleagues who will work with Hovis like an agency – not as employees of Hovis – to help the brand rapidly expand within the competitive bakery category.
The team includes Diageo’s current category and shopper marketing director for Western Europe, Graham Appleyard, Diageo’s Bailey’s marketing manager for Western Europe Bryony Stickells and Sam Matthewson, former Diageo senior consumer planner and current founder of brand strategy and planning consultancy Fresh Planning.
Hovis CEO Bob Spooner says: “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 customer and consumers.”
Recent new product developments have included the launch of the Taste Sensations range of flavoured bread and the extension of the Seed Sensations range into a granary nine-seeded batch loaf.
Hovis has confirmed it is still on the hunt for a marketing director following the departure of current brand chief Matt Hunt who leaves the business at the end of the month to join digital marketing agency Futureproof. http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/sectors/food-and-drink/news/hovis-marketing-chief-departs-amid-push-to-strengthen-the-brand/4011439.article