Londis expects its stores to double their fresh food sales over the next three years following the group’s multi-million pound category investment.

2011 saw Musgrave plough £4m into improving its fresh offer, expanding its chilled fleet, extending product ranges, and backing them with promotional support.

This work had already resulted in a 26% uplift in year-on-year fresh sales, Londis sales director Paul Courtney said.

Milk sales had doubled in the past 12 months, while fresh produce sales were up 33% thanks to new lines including seasonal favourites such as Jersey Royals and pumpkins, and extra-large varieties.

Last issue Convenience Store revealed that many independent retailers had enjoyed double-digit fruit and vegetable sales growth over the past year, following supply chain improvements and changing shopper habits.

Fresh produce sales at Nisa are growing by 7.5% year on year and Spar is also working hard to develop the fresh foods category in terms of quality and reliability, managing director Debbie Robinson added.