For traditional supermarkets, deciding which refrigeration system to install in their store was mostly a matter of size and price. In light of recent market trends — from a need for flexible merchandise display cases to an emphasis on food quality and safety — the evaluation checklist for supermarket refrigeration has become much more comprehensive.
In 2018, Emerson conducted a research study of leading food retailers to identify which factors were most important to them when selecting a supermarket refrigeration system. Their findings are what is known as the six S’s of selection criteria (by Andre Patenaude).
The Six S’s of Selection Criteria for Supermarket Refrigeration
Out with the complex and in with the simple. That’s the ideology food retailers have adopted when it comes to supermarket refrigeration. In place of cumbersome systems that are difficult to understand and troubleshoot, food retailers favor simplified systems that use fewer moving parts and thus are easier to install and maintain (with fewer mechanic-related issues to worry about).
Grocery stores recognize that maintenance can be disruptive to the customer experience — and they want to minimize that. This begins with the design of the refrigeration system. It should be easy for technicians to access sales floor equipment to perform necessary checks and repairs. The same can be said for engine rooms, which must be located out of the customer’s view to avoid blocked aisles and potential safety hazards.
Security in the food retail landscape can be interpreted in a few different ways. Food retailers need to feel secure in the safety of everyone that enters their store, in the quality and safety of the food they sell and in the transmission of operational data that is provided via IoT technology. With these goals in mind, they seek system architectures that support each of these initiatives.
Consistency is key in the operation of commercial refrigeration equipment. Grocery stores want to invest in refrigeration units that function in accordance with their design specifications, offer predictable performance and maintain consistent temperatures. With these elements in place, stores can minimize food waste, increase profits and prevent costly (and unexpected) repairs.
Imagine a scenario where a maintenance issue goes unnoticed for several weeks. Food quality and safety puts customers at risk, while the dangers of a more complex repair put technicians at risk. This explains why food retailers have embraced the use of IoT technologies in refrigeration. Access to real-time operational data helps food retailers more effectively manage issues, which in turn keeps customers safe and reduces the need for service calls.
Less food waste, a reduced carbon footprint, more energy savings — different focuses that all tie back to one overarching goal: a sustainable future. Driven in part by corporate objectives and local regulations, food retailers are turning to refrigeration equipment that supports these efforts. They are becoming more interested in units that are energy-efficient and use low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants, while also delivering long-term economic value.
Pro HVAC/R Meets the Demands of Food Retailers
As a supplier of Pure Cold self-contained refrigeration fixtures and energy-efficient technologies, Pro HVAC/R helps food retailers achieve the six S’s of selection criteria:
- Simple: Pure Cold self-contained refrigeration units only require an electrical outlet to run. No pipework or mechanics are needed.
- Serviceable: Technicians no longer have to struggle to reach refrigeration components. A pull-out maintenance tray in Pure Cold systems makes them easily accessible.
- Secure: Energy monitoring/submetering and thermography technologies safely deliver data about your system’s performance to you. You can feel just as secure about this data as you do about the freshness of your food.
- Stable: Pure Cold systems are known to have reliable performance. In fact, they operate more like a home refrigerator than a commercial refrigeration system.
- Smart: Equipment issues no longer have to come as a surprise. Our technologies help you proactively identify and troubleshoot issues before they become a big expense.
- Sustainable: While Pure Cold refrigeration fixtures are naturally energy-efficient, we supplement this with technology to reduce monthly utility costs.
Interested in talking to Pro HVAC/R about your commercial refrigeration? Connect with our team today.