Supermarkets have been criticised in a new study for concentrating promotional efforts on junk food.

The National Consumer Council found that promotions on hfss products represented 54% of in-store deals. Promotions on fruit and vegetables and other healthy items made up just 12% of bogofs and similar offers.

In the latest study, 63% of promotions at Morrisons were found to be on junk food, ahead of Waitrose on 57% and Tesco on 56%.

The Co-operative Group ranked best with 41% of its promotions on hfss goods, with Marks & Spencer next on 48%.

The research was carried out in March this year and included more than 4,300 promotions.

A previous poll in 2006 found 39% of in-store promotions at UK supermarkets were on junk or ‘treat’ foods.

However, the British Retail Consortium said the findings presented only a “one-off snapshot” that was “misleading”.

“Customers will have seen for themselves the current high-profile supermarket price-war centred on fruit and vegetables,” BRC food director Andrew Opie told The Times. “Thanks to retailers, customers have more information available to them, including on pack fronts, to help them make healthier eating choices.”