Just before Christmas I took part in the Hovis Wholemeal Challenge.
Hovis launched their Wholemeal Campaign in a bid to change consumer perception of Hovis Wholemeal from diet hindrance to diet help this January. The aim is challenge misconceptions around carbohydrates, which are often seen as the enemy for many dieters. The premise is that Hovis Wholemeal is rich in fibre and it keeps you fuller for longer and therefore help stop unhealthy snacking.
As part of the campaign, Hovis enlisted 50 (mostly female, I think) bloggers were to swap their usual breakfast for two slices of Hovis Wholemeal, trialling a range of healthy, quick and tasty recipes which are no more than 300 calories.
I agreed to give it a go because I’m actually a bit of a glutton and have never been known to refuse the offer of any kind of food.
But, I wish I’d known a little a bit more about what the challenge would entail beforehand so that I could have got my head round the task properly and put myself in genuine ‘guinea-pig’ mode.
I’d assumed I’d be trying lots of different Hovis products and I was really looking forward to seeing what tasty offering they have.
The first week involved filling out a survey everyday to see what my morning eating habits were before the challenge. That seemed simple enough. I was asked what I ate, when I ate, if I snacked during the morning and when I started to feel hungry again.
It was a week, perhaps unusually, when I didn’t feel hungry at all. I didn’t think about having breakfast, eating snacks or did I get hungry before the early afternoon. My survey was filled with non-answers.
I did feel a little smug for not being a ‘snacker’. I’m a pretty typical woman so not eating leaves me with a virtuous feeling. Although the general healthy eating message is that if you miss breakfast you are more likely to snack and develop unhealthy eating habits. I knew I wasn’t feeling hungry because I tend to eat fairly carb-loaded suppers. So I’m not actually a conventional carb-avoider.
I was now really looking forward to the following week of the challenge where I’d receive my ‘food parcel’ and eat Hovis for breakfast every day.
The second week I was to fill in the daily survey again with eating my Hovis bread instead and I’d hopefully see the difference.
Missed deliveries and confusion meant I finally got to start phase two around 2 ½ weeks after phase one.
It shouldn’t have really made any difference but it did.
The promised food parcel was disappointing when it finally arrived. One (yes, only one!) rather squashed loaf of Hovis Wholemeal arrived accompanied by an assortment of yoghurt, cottage cheese, bananas, blueberries, grapes, cream cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs. I’d been sent some recipe ideas for my Hovis and these healthy foods, but frankly I was really tempted to eat any of them with bread. The best I could do was marmite, cream cheese and an egg or tomatoes but my thin slice of Hovis, delicious though it was, seemed disappointingly insubstantial. Like a half-starved waif it flopped and fainted when I try to pack it full with goodies.
In the intervening time, I coincidentally had been on a bread-making course. This one was to learn how to make sourdough breads. Sourdough is a living culture and you have to keep making bread to keep it going! By the time my singleton’s loaf of wholemeal Hovis arrived my kitchen was awash with rustic loaves and I was busy eating through them, breakfast lunch and dinner!
Ironically, I was now having to keep my Hovis loaf hidden behind my own home-made bread at the back of a kitchen from my hungry boys who’ll snaffle anything within their grasp. The loaf was just enough for two slices a day for my breakfast only, everyday for a week and no more…
Alas, try as I did, I couldn’t keep my ten-year old’s hands off it. He made himself a packed lunch with it on one day when my back was turned and helped himself to Hovis bread for toast a couple of times before school in the morning…he just loved it.
Best laid plans and all…. but while Hovis reduces the temptation for snacking it is also important to remember the idea is also to promote a healthy breakfast. You might be interested to know about Farmhouse Breakfast Week Sunday 23rd Saturday 29th January 2011.
However this was what the initial survey showed of the 49 other bloggers who took part:
- 90% of respondents tended to snack more on Week 1 (when eating their normal breakfast)
- 78% will continue to eat bread for breakfast after taking the challenge, with 64% stating Hovis Wholemeal kept them fuller for longer
- 94% agreed they enjoyed eating Hovis Wholemeal for breakfast
- 86% agreed eating Hovis Wholemeal prevented them snacking in-between breakfast and lunch
- 56% of people didn’t even think about snacking in-between breakfast and lunch when eating Hovis Wholemeal, compared to 29% when eating their normal breakfast
- After eating Hovis Wholemeal for breakfast, 71% felt more positive about bread overall
- Most common snacking time overall is between 11-11.30am
To support the Hovis Wholemeal Campaign, Hovis is also launching a Facebook App, found at www.facebook.com/hovisbakery, to help encourage women to stay motivated and stop snacking this January.
This is a sponsored post.
- Hovis’ 122-Second TV Spot Wins U.K.’s Top Effectiveness Award (adage.com)
- The Flavour Weekly: Proper coffee and real bread (beyondthepasty.wordpress.com)