Sainsbury's is gearing up for a major push on regional foods.

New signage was rolled out to stores in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales this week, with signage for Devon and Cornwall and other regions expected to be rolled out over the next few months.

The PoS includes country flags with the message 'A Taste of Scotland', 'A Taste of Northern Ireland' or 'A Taste of Wales'.

Additional PoS features local images and claims about the products and number of farms involved such as "Sainsbury's source Woodland free range eggs from 15 farms across Scotland".

A range of local lines is also about to be launched in Wales in time for St David's Day. The retailer said it currently sold about 3,000 regional lines and planned to grow the range further this year by listing more regional suppliers.

Key regional events would be highlighted in-store, it added.

"Despite the economic climate, customer research continues to highlight the importance of regionally sourced lines in stores in key geographical areas," said a spokeswoman.

Sales of local ranges in Scotland were up 15% year-on-year, she added, and the chain was closely monitoring sales of both own-label and branded regional product lines.

Last year, 11 Scottish suppliers completed the retailer's Scottish Supplier Development Programme, which includes workshops and store visits.

Sainsbury's push comes just two weeks after Tesco launched a dedicated local food microsite in a bid to grow online sales of locally sourced products.