M&S has closed the door on the possibility of stocking branded fresh produce, insisting brands could not match the quality of its own-label range.

The retailer announced last week that it would introduce 400 ambient food and drink brands into stores nationwide, leading to speculation fresh produce brands could eventually gain listings. But a spokeswoman poured cold water on the idea. "We will not sell branded fresh produce this is M&S's heartland," she said. "We don't believe there are any better fresh products out there."