I was recently featured in a Grocery Headquarters article on the latest regulations and technology upgrades for the refrigeration equipment industry. Below are some highlights of the impact on cold cases.
It’s no secret that competition is fierce and margins can be slim in food retailing. With that in mind, retailers are particularly concerned with getting their utility budgets under control. Add in the fact that most retailers are devoting more space to produce, deli and prepared foods, the successful industry supplier is going to be one the that helps their customers find solutions to these issues. This is particularly important when considering cold cases.
Here are three trends we see impacting cold cases today:
- Food safety: Food quality and safety continue to be top concerns driving food temperature monitoring both at the case and remotely. With connected systems, IT security issues become a major concern for retailers. This has led to the development of cell-based communications to cold cases. And with the Food Safety Modernization Act, retailers not only need to manage fresh foods through the cold chain, but also must be able to authenticate their food quality story.
- Complex facilities: There is a convergence of food retail concepts that is driven by consumer demand for convenience and fresh foods. Consumers expect retailers to fit more into one location. Flexible infrastructures are needed to adapt to changing store concepts, and as stores become more complex, scalability is key.
- Workforce issues: There is an increasing difficulty in maintaining a skilled technical workforce. As experienced case technicians retire, there is a lack of young professionals entering the trade. Third party monitoring services that can remotely triage, diagnose and resolve equipment issues are key in allowing grocery associates to focus on customer engagement.
Newer, more energy efficient systems are not only going to keep retailers in compliance with upcoming regulations, but will also provide retailers greater ROI in the long-term, even though the short-term cost may be higher. This initial investment in equipment can be justified because customers will pay more money for better, fresher products, which retailers can provide with more reliable, sustainable equipment.
You can read the full Grocery Headquarters article online here.
For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.
Director of Innovation
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions