>>fresh produce sales up 8%

Fresh produce has tended to play a small part in the co-op/ symbol/independent sector, accounting for just 1% of latest MAT sales. But as consumer trends shift towards fresher foods and convenience, we could see an increasing number of c-stores stocking more fruit and vegetables. The ACNielsen Scantrack shows fresh produce sales have risen 8% across the sector overall and are in double figures across independents alone.

Fresh fruit and salad are key drivers of this growth, with both seeing double digit figures in the latest MAT. The warm weather has seen total fruit grow 13% in the latest four weeks, thanks in the main to luxury seasonal fruit. Strawberries are up 67% in the latest four weeks. Bagged salad is up 16% in the four weeks compared to only 2% across grocery multiples.