Premier Foods plc, the UK group behind brands like Bisto gravy and Branston pickle, plans to launch a campaign to encourage consumers to use its products in different ways.

Chief executive Robert Schofield said Premier would unveil a campaign in April dubbed “Great Little Ideas” across a series of the company’s products.

Schofield said consumers were only buying some of the company’s brands at certain times and for certain meals, which the campaign hoped to change.

“We’ve got some great brands but the usage of those brands has become habitual – and we wanted to break that. We wanted to get new consumer occasions for some of these iconic brands,” Schofield told analysts today (16 February).

Lines including Paxo stuffing will receive a yellow star as part of the push and give consumers “little ideas” of new ways to use each brand.

“If we get this right, we’ll start to link the power of our brands across the retail universe and we’ll drive consumption in a way in which we haven’t before,” Schofield said.

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Schofield declined to reveal how much Premier plans to spend on the campaign but said the push will be supported by a “big marketing budget”.

The Premier boss was speaking as the UK’s largest food manufacturer published its results for 2009.

Schofield also outlined how Premier had divided its branded portfolio into three tiers – with Hovis and Mr Kipling among the company’s “drive” brands.

Shares in Premier were up 2.4% at 33.05p at 12:51 this afternoon.