Booker has announced a 7.6% rise in total sales in second quarter trading, driven by strong growth in fruit and vegetable sales.

Both non-tobacco and tobacco sales grew by 7.6% in the 12 weeks to 9 September compared with the same period last year, while fruit and vegetable sales rose by 34%.

The wholesaler recently updated its Farm Fresh fruit & vegetable range, which is now available in pre-packed, price-marked and shelf-ready packaging. Sales have increased by 45% since the improvements.

Steve Fox, sales director, retail, said: “In a challenging economic climate retailers are turning towards the wholesaler who is delivering the best choice, price and service. This is the reason why Booker is doing so well as we are offering great value for independent retailers in these three key areas.”

He added that Euro Shopper continued to drive an “outstanding performance” with recent additions including a range of ice-creams and a buttery spread. Sales are growing at 30%. Sales of the new own-brand Red Band cigarette range are also rising by 30%.