The government's 5-a-day health message appears to be getting through to consumers, figures published in The Grocer show.

UK average daily consumption of fresh fruit and veg is up from 2.5 portions last year to 3.3 portions.

According to TNS, sales of fresh produce rose 5.4% year-on-year to £7.2bn for the 52 weeks ending 23 April. Consumers are now purchasing produce an average of once every four days.

The largest increase in value has been in the soft fruit sector, which is up 18.2%, probably as a result of media enthusiasm about the health benefits of berries. Sales of blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries have grown 114%, 62% and 75% respectively.

Falling prices have led to varied performances in other sectors. Apple sales are down 2.4% after price cuts. And value sales of potatoes fell 2.8% compared with a rise of 11% last year.