Meet the Maker: Hovis

Tom Pook of Hovis talks bakery in convenience retail

What’s your role?black and white headshot of tom pook

National account manager for wholesale & impulse accounts at Hovis.

What does a typical day look like?

Reviewing daily sales and performance across accounts to understand how the market is performing, and ensuring future forecasts are in line with expected demand. Then building rapport and relationships with customers and having internal meetings either in person or via video calls.

What’s your brand’s story?

Hovis as a brand has been baking for over 130 years now, originally started in 1886 when our founder Richard ‘Stoney’ Smith changed the way flour was milled, by separating the wheatgerm from the flour without losing any of the vitamins or minerals found in the wheatgerm.

In 1890, a national competition was held to replace the name of the making process, it was initially called ‘Smiths Patent Process Germ Flour’.

The winner was Herbert Grime, who suggested the name ‘Hovis’ which was created from the latin phrase ‘Hominis Vis’ meaning Strength of Man.

What sets Hovis apart from the competition?

The great taste and quality of product is well known throughout the sector, offering consumers a wide choice of wrapped bread variants, along with a good shelf life, allowing consumers to enjoy our products at home, at work and on the go.

Who is today’s Hovis consumer?

Hovis tends to over-index in regions in the south of Great Britain, but we are a strong brand nationally, ranking as number one or two in every region of the country.

One Hovis seed sensation loaf in packagings

There is a Hovis loaf for everyone: Hovis Soft White and Best of Both are popular among younger households and

families, while Hovis Seed Sensations and Granary are popular with older shoppers.

The launch of the Hovis Bakers Since 1886 range in April 2021 attracted more younger and upmarket buyers to the brand, and that’s across the half cob loaves and our premium burger buns.

What shopper missions drive sales in convenience?

Following the pandemic in 2020, many consumers identified that convenience retail was more than just a small shop on their road. Many consumers are now using convenience as part of a weekly shop rather than a top-up.

As we grow our portfolio of Hovis products under the Hovis Bakers Since 1886 range, consumers are now buying into our other bakery range of Rolls, Cobs and English Muffins with added Sourdough.

a packet of hovis sourdough english muffics
English Muffins with added Sourdough are proving popular with new consumers.

What ranging advice can you offer c-store retailers?

Don’t over index on white bread. While it is a popular choice, ‘Bread with Bits’ is the second biggest sector and under-represented within impulse.

There are opportunities for both increased sales and margin for retailers in the Bread with Bits segments. Hovis Original Seed Sensations Seven Seeds 800g is the No1 product within large loaves of Bread with Bits in Impulse.

Hovis Granary 800g (medium) is No37 and Hovis Granary 800g (thick) is No47. Hovis Best of Both is now the number one brand within the Half & Half sector in Impulse.

a packet of 4 hovis seeded deli rolls
Hovis Bakers Since 1886 Seeded Deli rolls are versatile for all meals.

What’s your favourite Hovis variant and why?

The Hovis Bakers Since 1886 Seeded Deli rolls. It’s a good size roll for a nice lunch at home, school or the office, as well as being ideal with soup for evening meals.

How important is the Scottish convenience channel to Hovis?

Scotland is a very important region to us within convenience. The brand heritage of Mothers Pride Scottish Batch speaks for itself, so it’s great to support the Scottish retailers with our range of both Hovis & Mothers Pride.

Do you have any NPD you would like to shout about?

Launching this month, we are introducing the Hovis Bakers Since 1886 Teacakes, a great addition to our 1886 range.