Scottish Premier retailers Dennis and Linda Williams have embarked on a new healthy-eating drive at their Edinburgh store, with a “fruit club” loyalty card scheme for 1,000 local children.

The card, which has been endorsed by the Scottish Government Healthy Living Programme, will be stamped each time a child buys an individual piece of fruit on their way to and from school, with the fifth stamp resulting in a free piece.

“Ideally we would like them to come in every day of the week, and get a freebie on a Friday,” Linda told Convenience Store. “The cards will be handed out at school, to maximize reach, and we really hope this will be a big success, both from a health point of view for the kids, and a business point of view for us. We all need our next generation of customers to find our store, and get into the habit of coming in on a regular basis,” she added.

The launch of the card co-incides with new figures from industry body British Summer Fruits, which claim that 11% of Britons never eat their recommended five fruit and vegetables a day, with 12% blaming price as a barrier.

Of the nearly 2,000 people from around the UK who took part in the survey, only 17% said they managed to consume five portions of fruit and veg every day, while 13% claimed they ate the recommended daily amount once a week, and 4% once a month.

The study found that, on average, British people eat the five-a-day amount of fruit and veg only 13 times a month.

People aged 45 and over were found to eat the most fruit and veg, while the 34-44 age group ate the least, with 14% saying they never reached the daily amount. Among respondents aged 16-24, 12% said they don’t consume the recommended daily amount.

Just over 12% blamed their poor fruit and veg consumption on cost, saying that eating healthily was too expensive.

Another 29% of people said they struggled to eat a healthy diet because they were too tempted by junk food.