Consumers stuck at home during lengthy lockdowns are turning to familiar brands for consolation, judging by trading results from the UK’s Premier Foods, the maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy.

A strong brand performance

Reporting on the three months to the end of 2020, the company says it’s expecting profits for the full year to March to be up at least 12%.

  • Describing “another exceptional quarter of trading”, Premier Foods said sales of its branded products were up 16% for the year to date – seven times the growth rate of non-branded products.
  • Comforting, old-favourite brand names performed very strongly – Mr Kipling cakes is on track for a record year; gravy brand Bisto and Batchelors, the market leader in dried soups, both saw double-digit sales growth. Ambrosia custard and rice pudding also saw sales climb.
  • Sales of Sharwood’s cooking sauces surged by 40% for the quarter, helped by a new low-sugar version of a stir-fry sauce. This and a number of other products were boosted by TV ad campaigns.


“By spending money on marketing now, all Premier Foods can do is make its products front of mind when consumers shop, so post-lockdown people still recall its brands when they are deciding whether to cook themselves or go for the ready-meal option, which was so popular before COVID-19 struck” – Russ Mould, investment director with AJ Bell, speaking to Proactive.

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Sourced from Premier Foods