Spar's south west wholesaler Appleby Westward has appointed a hit squad to boost sales of fresh foods. In pilot exercises at 12 Spar stores, growth in fresh food sales outpaced dried foods by 5% following a revamp of the section. Now the team of inspectors is to roll out the improvement to all 309 stores covered by the Spar wholesaler for the south west. The four-strong team is headed by Nick Kenworthy, formerly of Somerfield, as fresh foods manager, with advisors Mark Inns, Paul Lynch and Will Martin. Appleby Westward general manager Ian Connell said: "The hit squad make a hothouse of the fresh food area of the shop, bringing in new planograms and ranges. "They will work though all our retailers in turn and then start again at the beginning. We are focusing on fresh foods at the moment, but may look at wines, beers, and spirits later on." Appleby Westward is concentrating its first bout of activity on the 110 Spar stores which offer food to go and bake-off facilities, working with retailers to increase hit rates. Connell said: "In higher volume stores the opportunity for food to go is huge. We want to make the most of it with a specialist team." {{NEWS }}