Spar retailers in the south and west have been challenged to improve their stocking of own-label products.

The call came at Spar Wessex Guild’s convention in Amsterdam, where delegates were told they currently had the worst record for carrying Spar own-brand products in the UK, with take up of own label sandwiches lying at only 46% compared to that of 76% by the top Guild, Scotland.

Figures revealed by wholesaler Appleby Westward also showed that only one third of stores stocked ready meals, while less than half stocked a fast-selling ‘hero’ own-brand product, and a mere 36% had two hero lines in-store.

Spar UK trading director Peter Miller told delegates that retailers were missing out on a big opportunity by not stocking own-label, and taking a risk by buying sandwiches from suppliers of questionable repute.