Fresh food, big portions and free apples are proving to be a winning formula for Greene King - the brewer and pub operator is to double its Appleton's brand.
The company currently has eight sites operating under the family-orientated brand and has a further nine in the pipeline.
Appleton's, devised by Adam Collett, Greene King Pub Company marketing director, is seen as a natural competitor to the Harvestor brand.
Mr Collett told thePublican.com: "Appleton's is about fresh food, big portions and somewhere the family can come together to eat." Customers can help themselves to a free apple.
He said some of the new Appleton's sites would be converted from the existing estate but the company would also look for suitable acquisitions. "We also think a couple of the existing Old English sites could make great Appleton's," he said.
The company has almost completed the integration of The Old English estate that it bought in September. It expects to make initial cost-savings of £2m from the deal.
Greene King was the latest of many companies across the industry to report strong trading during the festive period.
The company saw sales rise by 5.6 per cent in its managed houses in the four weeks over the Christmas and New Year period.