The Annual Biggest Brands survey released by TNS Worldpanel yesterday showed that consumers are increasingly turning to healthier bread options.
Warburtons has risen from tenth in the survey's list of top ten brands to eighth this year with a 17 per cent sales growth amounting to between £350 (€517.5m) and £355m (€524.9m) in sales.
By comparison, Hovis are ranked eleventh - a jump of three places - and enjoyed 14 per cent growth to sales of between £305m (€450.9m) and £310m (€458.3m).
Both Hovis, who are owned by British millers RHM, and Warburton are renowned for producing high-fibre, wholegrain loaves and regularly launching nutritional alternatives to standard white bread.
Earlier this month RHM updated the Hovis brand, strengthening its healthy image by launching a 'premium' range and introducing its new logo, 'something good inside'.
Another heavy weight in the bread market, Kingsmill, which is produced by Allied Bakeries, made the top 20 brands, coming in at number 18.
Sales of the bread rose 2 per cent to between £230m (€339.9m) and £235m (€347.4m)
Craig Smith, editor of Marketing Magazine who commissioned the TNS report said: "The success of these brands not only comes from consumer trends towards health and premium products but also from their commitment to new product development and innovation."
According to Smith, the overall 9 per cent growth of the bread market can be attributed in part to the marketing behind successful bakery brands.
And the growth is "especially impressive given that this rise comes in a staple food category that is already bought by most UK households."
Although the study found the fastest growing markets to be fruit, vegetables and confectionery, there is still encouraging news for the bakery sector as the biscuits market grew 2 per cent to £1.84bn (€2.72bn) while ambient bakery showed a 6 per cent rise to £3.72bn (€5.5bn)