Andrew Porter, group manager of Creightons in Northern Ireland, is enjoying up to £1,000 worth of extra sales every week in each of the three Spar stores thanks to a brand new group of shoppers looking for a protein fix.

“We’ve got one very clear best-selling category at the moment and that’s our protein bars and shakes. Grenade and Fulfill are the top brands within this category.

“The best thing about these products is they sit in a completely new category so it’s all new business. It’s not even taking from the snacks sales as these are new shoppers who are into their health and fitness and would never have come in to buy a chocolate bar anyway. The products also have a very high margin.

“In one of our stores the protein bars and shakes alone are bringing in £1,000 extra sales each week.

“The other brands we have in this range are UFIT, Battle Oats, Oatein and Novo Protein Bites.

“We’ve been saying for years that customers are starting to demand more healthy products but it’s only really kicked in properly in the last six months. I think there’s a new generation of shoppers who need these options as these are all they’ve ever bought as opposed to customers who have converted from less healthy options.”