Lower demand for bread forces Hovis bakery closures

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Premier foods

Premier Foods will close two of its bakery plants in the UK
following lower consumer demand for bread.

The Hovis-producer said last week it will close its bakery in Bradford and bread distribution depot in Telford, resulting in the loss of 430 jobs. Both plants are part of the company's British Bakery unit. This announcement made by Premier Foods follows the company's decision last month to axe its frozen foods division as well as reorganising its cakes division, closing the head office in Windsor on early 2008, and the separate integrations of the Manor Bakeries and Avana Cakes businesses. Premier Foods said in a statement that these plans are in order to achieve savings throughout its business as higher commodity costs cut into the company's margins. "The move reflects an overall fall in bread consumption, changing consumer habits, and the increased self sufficiency of British Bakeries operations in the south of England, resulting in a reduced requirement to transfer bread and morning goods down the country,"​ a British Bakeries spokesman said, according to the Independent. The company said the distribution operations at the Bradford bakery will continue to operate normally. In other segments, Premier Foods said in July it will close six of its 11 factories across the UK due to heightened competition and optimising the efficiency of the business. In January the company also said it will close its Campbell's soup Kings Lynn factory in Norfolk by the end of December 2007 and another factory in Kent by May 2008 in order to make £28m of savings a year. Premier had sales of £2.7bn (€4bn) in 2006. The company's British Bakery unit produces Hovis bread and Mr Kipling cakes. Premier Foods' other brands include Sharwoods Asian foods, Oxo stock cubes, Batchelors soups and noodles, Loyd Grossman sauces, Bisto gravy, Quorn meat-free products, Ambrosia custard and rice pudding, Branston pickle and Hartley's jams and marmalades and jelly.

Related topics: Markets, Premier Foods

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