Sales at Spar stores have risen 3.1% in the past quarter, driven by more shoppers top-up shopping for evening meals and a sharp hike in promotions.

There was a 20% increase in fruit sales in the three months to the end of July compared with the same ­period last year. Sales of vegetables were up 10.4%, while fresh meat and poultry were up 5%.

Wine was another area of growth for Spar up by 3.5%, helped by a 151% ­increase in South African wine sales during the World Cup.

Spar had upped the number of promotions including half price, bogof offers and meal deals to appeal to shoppers on a budget, said UK MD Jerry Marwood.

Sales of promoted items increased 28.8% in the period, with fresh food promotions up 36.3%.

"On a category basis, we've seen strong performances across fresh food and wine in particular," said Marwood. "This suggests that we are now seen by our 15 million customers as delivering the products they need to make a home-cooked meal, to pick up food on the go or to buy some quality wine to go with the Sunday lunch.

"We will continue to enhance this and to encourage our retailers to find more local product lines, as well as improving our fresh food offering."