The government's 5-a-day campaign has lost out as supermarkets start the year with a blaze of fruit and veg promotions. 

Tesco and Sainsbury's are both pumping millions into free or cut-price produce, and Waitrose is also running a citrus promotion this month. Even Aldi is offering customers 50%-off selected produce lines.

But none have made any effort to display the DoH-backed 5-a-day logo. And none of the full-page ads in the national press mention FPC's Eat in Colour campaign, launched this week. The scheme is supposed to help shoppers choose and prepare fruit and veg for their families and has been given £25,000 this year by Tesco.

There is a risk that the differing messages will confuse shoppers, said Martin Dunnett, MD of Capespan UK. "We're very supportive of 5-a-day," he said. "But there are lots of different interpretations, so the message has been watered down. Everyone should use the same terms."

Tesco's Fruit and Veg Pledge is arguably the most ambitious of the supermarket promotions. Each week this year it will offer five produce lines at half price.

Sainsbury's is handing out more than 10 million game cards in a Big 5 Drive, which offers the chance to win a healthy product like a smoothie or an apple.

Morrisons has also announced plans to put its own 5-a-day message on fresh, chilled and frozen produce, although it won't be using the official logo.

Denis Punter, MD of supplier Redbridge, said the message on eating more fruit and veg wasn't getting through quickly enough. But he said Sainsbury's campaign was "fantastic".

The campaigns been cautiously welcomed by British growers. NFU horticulture board chairman Richard Hirst warned retailers not to devalue produce by promoting too heavily.