MAJOR retailers enjoyed a massive spending spree on fresh produce over the jubilee weekend as consumers threw caution to the wind and celebrated in style.

Strawberries, UK tomatoes, avocados and stone fruit were the winners as customers bought-in for picnics to toast the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.

But at Tesco, prepared salads – already riding high – showed the most impressive performance, posting a 10 per cent plus increase on the same weekend last year.

Basil also put in a good performance, but Tesco bosses said this was partly due to a promotion on the popular herb.

At Sainsbury's, strawberries were the stars of the proceedings, showing a 50 per cent increase between Thursday May 30 and Sunday June 2 on the same period last year. General vegetable sales enjoyed a 16 per cent rise over the weekend. Potato sales grew by 14 per cent, legumes by eight per cent and exotic vegetables by five per cent.

Meanwhile the chain's flower department even beat its Christmas performance as a jubilee weekend of floral tributes sent sales spiralling skyward.

In what has been declared the biggest national celebration the UK has ever seen, the supermarket shifted some 6,500 celebration bouquets, and posted its biggest-ever sales of bedding plants.

Sainsbury's bosses were overjoyed with the results.

Cut flowers buyer Vanessa Hughes said: 'Flower sales were even more than at Christmas.' And root and brassica buyer Russell Crowe said: 'We are delighted with the successful launch of the Elizabeth potato, as well sales of other varieties.' London was the centre of the golden jubilee celebrations, which saw one million turn up for Monday night's pop concert in the Royal Parks and more than that figure for Tuesday's parade and fly-by.

The capital saw the best of the weather, with forecast rain holding off for the main events on Monday and Tuesday after scorching sunshine on Saturday and much of Sunday, but other areas were not so lucky.

Even so, this failed to dampen the enthusiasm of shoppers, according to Tesco spokeswoman Gemma Hornett.

She said: 'People were going out to buy their bits and pieces for a weekend of partying. Even though the weather was awful, they were still prepared to give it a go.'