Palmer & Harvey has become the latest wholesaler to launch a fresh food offer.

The Chilled & Fresh range includes 500 lines ranging from fruit and vegetables to Kiveton Kitchen ready meals and bread.

It is designed to meet customer demand for on-the-go, top-up shop, treat yourself, everyday, healthy and ready meal lines.

The products had long shelf lives because the wholesaler had been able to piggyback on the code life that it offers the multiples, said P&H director of marketing Richard Hayhoe. Deliveries were also available at any time, so retailers could order little and often to cut wastage.

"C-stores should stock at least six metres of chilled and fresh, but with this new offer we can extend this to 11 or 12 metres," Hayhoe said.

Early feedback from customers was positive, he added. P&H had already generated 123 new accounts and existing chilled customers had increased orders. The range follows similar initiatives from rivals. In May, Musgrave Retail Partners GB launched Londis Fresh, a core fresh range for Londis retailers with produce delivered straight from its supplier to guarantee optimum shelf life and quality.