Retailers are failing to offer consumers the same incentives to buy fresh produce as they are with fattier, less healthy foods, a new survey from the National Consumer Council has found.

Research on more than 2000 price promotions at the nine top supermarkets found that they offer, at best, only a quarter of discounts on fresh produce.

The worst performer, Somerfield, clocked up just 7%, while market leader Tesco performed little better on 17%.

NCC chief executive, Ed Mayo, said: “There is a sea change under way that is good news for consumers as supermarkets start to compete on health.

But we’re dismayed that the biggest supermarket – Tesco – is a laggard on health.”

Tesco, which dismissed the report as out of date, has just put its weight behind a planned campaign to promote fresh fruit and vegetables, called “Eat in colour”.

It has joined Asda by pledging 25,000 a year to support the Fresh Produce Consortium initiative, which hopes to use the vivid colours of produce to appeal to consumers and boost consumption by 250m a year.