Whether it is slices for toasting or soldiers for dunking, Hovis® bakers have been passionate

about baking bread from the finest ingredients since 1886. This means that over 130 years of history, experience and knowledge is baked into every slice, roll, crumpet and pancake.

The range may have changed and evolved over the years to suit techniques, tastes and toppings, but their exceptionally high standards have always remained.

1886 - 1899

Since prehistoric times, the goal of milling has been the separation of outer bran and germ from the inner, more digestible endosperm of the wheat berry. When Richard ‘Stoney’ Smith found a way to separate the wheat germ from the flour but retain all of its natural goodness, the way flour was made radically changed.

The process was patented and S. Fitton & Sons Ltd developed the brand, milled the flour and sold it along with Hovis-branded baking tins to other bakers.

What’s in a name? 
The name Hovis® comes from the Latin, Hominis Vis meaning strength of man. The name was suggested by Herbert Grime when S Fitton & Sons launched a naming competition, winning Mr Grime the £25 prize fund and officially launching the Hovis® Bread Flour Company Limited in 1898.


Hovis® had set the standard for quality across the baking industry and a competition was even launched amongst bakers for the best Hovis® loaf. 


By this time 20,000 bakers were producing Hovis® bread every day. The bread came in both a one-pound and a two-pound loaf, as well as an 8-ounce junior loaf and a £0.01 mini loaf that proved extremely popular with children.


German bombs destroyed a Manchester mill and as an emergency war measure the government stepped in to help. In a show of solidarity for the war effort, Hovis® donated a Spitfire named Homini Vis to the RAF. 


The post-war era sees the creation of wrapped sliced bread - the greatest thing since well… unsliced bread and the birth of TV advertising, another thing that Hovis® would soon become renowned for.

1970 - 2007

The evolution of baking, consumer demand and increased awareness into healthy living saw rapid changes and revolutionary ideas across products and branding emerge from Hovis® with significant investments made into operations and product quality. The nations favourite ever TV commercial, ‘The Boy on the Bike’ directed by Sir Ridley Scott, appeared for the first time on British TV screens, bringing the Hovis® brand into homes across the country. 


Hovis® celebrates their iconic 122nd anniversary with an equally iconic advert, ‘Go on lad’ documenting Hovis® through history. This advert went on to be voted the advert of the decade by the British public. 


In an exciting new development, Hovis® was recently acquired by Endless Plc, a transformational private equity investor opening the way for significant investments into the business infrastructure and expansion of the product range while retaining the much-loved Hovis® goodness.