Hovis prepares social media drive to push health credentials

Premier Foods is overhauling the social media strategy for its Hovis brand in an attempt to move beyond the product-based conversations it has with customers to discussing bread’s role in a healthier lifestyle.

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Hovis hopes the social media push boosts the number of online conversations about the brand.

The baker says it wants to be less reliant on the “functional activity” it has previously adopted to launching initiatives that spark more “genuine conversations” with mums and families. The move is aimed at dispelling what the company claims are “myths” around bread not being healthy and will see Hovis use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to educate consumers on its nutritional qualities. 

It follows the baker hosting a live Q&A session with dietitian Elphee Medici on Facebook earlier this month which it claims increased its engagement metrics fans. It is looking to host regular sessions moving forward along with plans to be more responsive to news events it can latch the brand too.

A spokeswoman for Hovis says the strategy, created in partnership with social media agency Futureproof, is not “just about giving consumers ideas for the next sandwich to have for lunch”, but rather “seeking out ways to talk with them on a more regular basis by focusing on relevant conversations to their lives”.

She adds: “There will still be a product push online from Hovis, but what we’re doing is far more geared around trying to end the confusion around bread as a healthy food. We want to increase the number of real conversations mums and families are having about the brand and be as transparent as possible.”

It comes amid concerns from consumer groups about the health credentials of bread. Earlier this year, the UK’s biggest bakers were forced to hit back against claims from food welfare charity Sustain that  they had been misleading shoppers when marketing wholemeal and wholegrain breads.

The spokeswoman claims its competitors are not “really talking and shouting” about bread as healthier alternative online and hopes its social media drive can shift perceptions for the whole category. 

The move is part of a wider marketing strategy that will see the baker’s upcoming advertising  work harder to promote the health credentials of bread.

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