The quarter saw the company’s Sharwood's brand launch new vegan cooking sauces.

Healthy and vegan options boost “very encouraging” sales growth for Premier Foods

UK food manufacturer Premier Foods has had a “very encouraging” start to the year as a result of growing demand for healthy options.

Total sales in Q1 over a two year basis grew 6.3 per cent for the company - at the top end of the group’s 5-6 per cent expected range.

The firm, which produces items for brands such as Mr Kipling, Sharwood’s and Bisto, has reported double digit sales growth within its grocery brands, as well as 9 per cent increase in branded sales.

The quarter saw the company’s Sharwood’s brand launch new vegan cooking sauces, as well as the rise in popularity of low-sugar options across its other brands.

Alex Whitehouse, chief executive officer, commented: “We have made a very encouraging start to the year, with Quarter 1 sales at the top end of our expectations, as our brands again benefited from the introduction of new products and continued marketing investment.

“When compared to two years ago, our branded sales increased by over 9 per cent with grocery brands up 12 per cent, continuing the strong momentum of recent years. As expected, overall sales were down compared to the same quarter a year ago when we saw exceptionally high grocery volumes during the first national lockdown.”

He added: “Sales online through our retailers e-commerce platforms remained at elevated levels and nearly twice that of two years ago, retaining most of the gains from last year. Branded Sweet Treats grew year on year, with Mr Kipling up 7.5 per cent, benefiting from our range of low sugar options and the ongoing success of the premium Signature range.

“I’m very pleased by the progress of our healthier options ranges, such as Sharwood’s low fat cooking sauces, which have grown at over twice the rate of our branded portfolio, as consumers continue with their recently adopted good healthier eating habits.”

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