The problems of supplying HP Sauce that blighted wholesalers earlier this year have worsened despite Heinz claiming it was getting to grips with the issue.

One leading wholesale boss said the problems had spread from the 255g pack, which sparked complaints in August, to other lines.

"We are getting allocated dribs and drabs of HP Sauce but it is nowhere near back to normal," he said. "In fact the problem has extended into the foodservice packs."

Another major national wholesale operator said although it had witnessed a marked improvement in the supply of HP Sauce, this improvement appeared to have come at the expense of other products in the Heinz portfolio. A spokesman for the group said supply of HP Sauce was up to 80% better than during the worst of the crisis, which first arose in March, but added: "Heinz has been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at HP, and this has led to poorer availability of some of its sub-brands."

Heinz was unavailable for comment on the claims, but it recently told The Grocer that improvements had been made.

"Good progress has been made in recent weeks to improve all stocks of HP Sauce throughout the trade. This has been achieved when HP Sauce share performance has been tracking at an all-time record high," said a spokeswoman for Heinz. "We are continuing to refill our customer supply pipeline and this is on track."

When the availability crisis came to light in August, it was suggested the problems stemmed from Heinz's closure of the HP Sauce factory in Birmingham and moving production to the Netherlands in March.

Although the problems first occurred when production moved overseas, Heinz said the move had gone exactly to plan, claiming the "supply problems had arisen due to unusual weather and promotional activity".

It said an unusually hot April had led to an earlier than expected acceleration in demand.