Nisa has reported a positive start to the year in its half-year trading update after putting a greater focus on helping more retailers provide fresh and chilled products.

Nick Read, chief executive of the group, highlighted a 17% jump in its customer feedback score, which he said was due to clear guidelines to retailers and a mystery shopper initiative, which has delivered direct customer feedback.

Sales of Nisa’s fresh produce have seen a 21.9% increase, while the company has focused on reducing case sizes, subsequently reducing waste, to remove retailers’ “fear” around the sector.

“We’ve got to make it easier for our members to get into fresh and chilled,” said Mr Read.

He said there had been a greater focus on the in-store visual representation of those lines.

The group has also recorded a 4% reduction in overhead costs and adjusted earnings were at £4.2m in the first half to October – an improvement on the £3.3m reported for the same period last year.