This could be the best Christmas volume trading period for wholesalers for eleven year, according to The Federation of Wholesale Distributors, but superstore price wars are continuing to put margins under pressure.

Wholesalers are reporting a confident mood especially with alcohol sales to caterers.

Alan Toft, director of FWD, said: “The level of confidence and the mood of members shows that most of them are quite upbeat - or as upbeat as any wholesaler can be at the moment in time - but margin pressure is severe.”

“You can never tell what will happen next week but independents are now more professional and they are working more closely with wholesalers. But suppliers need to rethink their wholesale margins generally to enable wholesalers to consolidate their sector,” said Toft.