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Posts from the ‘Food Retail’ Category

Top 10 Emerson Blogs for 2018: Our Most Popular “Climate Conversations”

AndrePatenaude_Blog_Image Andre Patenaude | Director, Food Retail Marketing & Growth Strategy, Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

A quick two-minute read may be all the time it takes to keep up with the latest developments taking place throughout the food cold chain and its shared industries. That’s why we blog frequently about trending topics, emerging technologies and proven strategies for success. As a foundation of our E360 platform, the Climate Conversations blog is designed to make sure you’re the first to know about new industry opportunities, issues and ideas. Based on this year’s traffic to our website, we’ve selected the 10 most popular blog entries we published in 2018 — information as relevant today as the day it was posted.

Top 10 2018 Climate Conversations Blogs

  1. Why Whole Foods Made R-290 Integral to its Refrigeration Strategy

It’s only natural. If any grocery chain was going to take the lead on committing to using all-natural refrigerants, it was Whole Foods. But finding a greener solution for their self-contained units was a struggle. Whole Foods took a giant leap by converting its stores to new propane-based refrigerant

R-290 and immediately saw a jump in energy-efficiency. Learn how this approach serves as a model for other progressive chains focused on natural refrigeration.

 

  1. Can Amendments to Apprentice Act Address the Technician Shortage?

This blog is a short read of an ACHR News article regarding a possible solution to an enormous industry problem: the need for 115,000 new HVAC technicians in the U.S. by 2022. Each year, America’s college graduates riddle themselves with loan debt while pursuing white collar jobs — each with an average starting salary of $32,000. Yet, apprentice technicians earn an average starting salary of $60,000, and vocational students often enjoy subsidized training with no loans. The Apprenticeship Enhancement Act of 2017 could fast-track these apprentice programs, luring a new generation of motivated technicians into our industries.

 

  1. Regulatory Landscape Presents New Challenges and Complexities

At the time this blog appeared, 10 EPA rulings targeting the commercial refrigeration industry were set to take place over the following four years. Since then, the landscape has changed dramatically, but many of these rules serve as the bases of new state initiatives and industry best practices. Regardless of which direction the regulatory wind will blow next, this blog presents a sensible, systematic approach to compliance, using collaboration and innovation to soften the impact of constant change. For the latest rulemaking on refrigerants, please view this regulatory update session from our most recent E360 Forum.

 

  1. C-Store Trends Through 2025

Convenience stores have come a long way from displaying racks of chips and a Slushie machine. Drawing on a conversation with the editors of Convenience Store Decisions, we looked at trends such as the increasing emphasis on creating positive customer experiences and using inventory management tools to learn what customers prefer.

 

  1. Understanding Applications for Alternative Refrigerants

The move to lower-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants such as new alternatives to high-GWP HFCs seems inevitable. But they are not “fill-and-chill” solutions; these alternative refrigerants present new operating challenges. For example, some run hotter in both low- and medium-temperature applications, requiring compressor cooling equipment. This blog introduces a video outlining various performance issues and requirements, as well as emerging refrigerant alternatives.

 

  1. Natural Refrigerant R-290 Stages a Comeback in Refrigeration

Natural refrigerants such as propane (R-290) are not new to the scene. In fact, in the early 1900s, early refrigeration systems were based on naturally occurring hydrocarbons, which combined excellent performance with one noteworthy caveat: flammability. When non-flammable CFC refrigerants arrived in the 1930s, natural refrigerants took a back seat until the environmental consequences of CFCs became apparent. In the early 2000s, researchers took a new look at R-290 as a completely GWP-free, high-performance refrigerant for low-charge commercial refrigeration equipment.

 

  1. Copeland Scroll Takes Home the Gold

When you spend years researching and designing a completely new compressor line that achieves an ideal balance of energy-efficiency improvements, environmental friendliness, reliability, safety and more, it’s OK to take a bow (and then get back to work). This year, the Dealer Design Awards recognized Emerson’s Copeland Scroll™ Fractional Horsepower Compressor line with its gold distinction, meant to highlight the latest, most innovative products in the HVACR industry and honor design excellence.

 

  1. A Digital Transformation in the Cold Chain

As an introduction to Emerson Group President John Rhodes’ article on the need for tighter cold chain integration, this blog discusses how the internet of things (IoT) is connecting links in the global cold chain to drive food safety and freshness. Rather than a narrow focus only on the performance of disparate operators within the food supply chain, he encourages operators to integrate their data to build a truly connected cold chain. Combining the cold chain with big data gives operators a wide-angle view of where they can improve and innovate.

 

  1. New Challenges Won’t Stop the Cold Chain Evolution

Today’s unprecedented environmental, energy and food safety regulations have created challenges that have become increasingly difficult to overcome. In this blog and accompanying video, Emerson makes the case that the industry can’t afford to lose progress in the face of an uncertain, dynamic regulatory climate. When change is inevitable, create a breadth of product offerings, take the lead in stewardship efforts, and keep an eye toward innovation. That’s what we’ve done to help you find your way through this maze of change.

 

  1. R-290 in U.S. Commercial Foodservice
    The global HFC refrigerant phase-down has brought the natural refrigerant R-290 back into the spotlight. This blog tells the story of how one company, H&K International, put its head down to focus on creating successful R-290 based products. The company worked within the current charge limit for R-290 applications to create self-contained cases, condensing units and reach-ins. Learn how making the switch to R-290 is projected to save H&K’s customers almost $800,000 in energy costs over the next three years.

We hope these blogs help keep you informed and address your most pressing challenges. Be sure to bookmark our blog page and visit it frequently to read our latest posts. You can also sign up to receive an alert whenever a blog is posted so you’re always up-to-speed.

 

 

New Research: The Six S’s of Supermarket Refrigeration System Selection Criteria

AndrePatenaude_Blog_Image Andre Patenaude | Director, Food Retail Marketing & Growth Strategy, Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Emerson recently completed a research study of leading food retailers to better understand their refrigeration system selection criteria. This blog is a synopsis of those findings.

Copeland

For several years, we’ve seen an evolution of the traditional supermarket concept, driven by a convergence of multiple market influences which include:

  • The migration to urban areas
  • Smaller store footprints
  • Renewed focuses on safety and freshness
  • Greater need for merchandising flexibility
  • The proliferation of omnichannel fulfillment models
  • The lack of qualified service technicians
  • Energy-efficiency goals and sustainability initiatives
  • The internet of things (IoT)
  • Ongoing regulatory uncertainty

Amidst these many changes, refrigeration systems have also evolved to align with modern supermarket operator preferences. To better understand how these preferences are impacting selection criteria, we recently completed a research study of several leading food retailers. We asked them which factors they feel are the most important when considering the implementation of new refrigeration systems.

We compiled results into six key categories, which we refer to as the six S’s of selection criteria. The following is a summary of those findings:

  1. Simple — Operators are seeking to minimize complexities by using systems that are easy to understand and diagnose. Many associate system simplicity with reliability and believe it can be achieved with fewer moving parts, traditional system architectures and proven refrigeration strategies.
  2. Serviceable — Technician familiarity is important to facilitate ease of service and maintenance activities, and to ensure the availability of parts and refrigerants. Engine rooms should be located away from customers and be relatively easy to access.
  3. Secure — Maintaining customer, employee and technician safety while preserving food quality and safety are always top priorities. With many operators now integrating IoT technologies for more effective facility and enterprise management, securing proprietary operational data is also critically important. Operators seek system architectures that can address these multifaceted safety and security concerns.
  4. Stable — Grocers consistently cite system stability and reliability as primary selection criteria. Systems should be capable of maintaining consistent temperatures, delivering predictable performance, and working according to design specifications.
  5. Smart Electronic controls, system connectivity and integration with facility management services via IoT are becoming more important to modern supermarket operators. They’re evaluating self-monitoring systems that give store managers immediate access to issues, allowing them to take prompt actions to protect shoppers, preserve their brands and prevent unnecessary service calls.
  6. Sustainable — For those supermarket operators driven by corporate sustainability objectives or regional regulatory requirements, the push toward lower-GWP refrigeration strategies is continuing in earnest. Sustainability also speaks to the long-term economic viability of the refrigeration selection, as operators must factor in the total cost of ownership throughout the lifecycle. Reducing energy consumption to minimize operating costs is a concern shared by all.

As refrigeration technologies evolve in response to changing market dynamics, look for emerging system architectures that align with these selection criteria. Emerson is addressing the six S’s of supermarket operator concerns by innovating new systems that blend pieces of proven architectures — borrowing from what has worked in the past and improving upon existing technologies. Stay tuned for more information on these new system strategies in the months to come.

Incorporating Freshness Into the Discount Retail Mix

AndrePatenaude_Blog_Image Andre Patenaude | Director, Food Retail Marketing & Growth Strategy, Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Our work with a leading discount retailer helped them boost energy savings, facility efficiency and more. Read the full article here.

Incorporating Freshness into the discount retail mix

As is the case throughout most of our industry, discount-oriented retailers are adapting to rapidly evolving and dynamic consumer preferences. To become more competitive, some operators are introducing fresh food options and produce. But adding food to the retail mix also potentially creates a new set of challenges for retailers related to food quality, safety and preservation.

One leading discount retailer with thousands of stores across the U.S. is helping drive the fresh food trend by facing these challenges head-on. Building upon a period of strong growth, this operator has plans for further expansion into the food retail space that includes:

  • Annual remodels in nearly 10 percent of its stores to improve shopping environments
  • Increasing the number of stores with fresh food and perishable offerings
  • Remodeling and updating refrigeration capabilities of nearly 30 percent of its stores
  • Offering more produce in food-equipped stores
  • Increasing the number of stores featuring more groceries than dry goods

With a national network of store sizes ranging from 6,000 to 16,000 square feet, the operator’s next step was to put a plan in place that addressed new refrigeration requirements and ways to optimize operations across their enterprise. This approach would call not only for a more proactive approach to help ensure food freshness, quality and safety, but also automate the management of HVAC, refrigeration and lighting systems for maximum reliability and energy efficiency.

Emerson, in conjunction with partner OEMs, proposed a plan that introduced a combination of reliable compression technologies, advanced facility controls and remote monitoring capabilities through ProAct™ software, Alarm Management and Resolution services.

The results? Through significant upgrades to their existing refrigeration system and the addition of robust facility management capabilities, the retailer exceeded its desired goals:

  • Setting temperatures back during non-shopping hours delivered 30 percent savings over manual (or non-controlled) methods
  • Monitoring of refrigerated case temperatures kept perishables within optimal ranges and preserved food safety
  • Facility management controls and ProAct software helped prioritize critical issues and allowed the limited staff (typically around eight to 10 employees per day) to focus more on customer service matters and improve the shopping experience

This is just a glimpse into what Emerson products and solutions can do for your operations. As the industry incorporates more fresh food offerings, we’ll continue to develop ways in which our customers can optimize their facilities and ensure food quality and safety. For more information, read the full article here.

Emerson Study Compares CO2 and Hydrocarbon Energy Efficiency in Europe

The study found that those opting for integral R-290 systems could potentially achieve up to €51,000 savings per store on maintenance, energy consumption and refurbishment. The study also points to the ongoing evolution of natural refrigerant technologies and highlights the differences between CO2 and hydrocarbon refrigeration strategies.

Read more

Click and Collect Presents New Opportunities for Retailers

Ani Jayanth | Director, Product Marketing
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Click and collect is revolutionizing the way customers purchase groceries — while keeping food retailers on their toes to establish a winning fulfillment model. To read the full article and learn how retailers can work to meet the demand, click here.

Click and Collect image

Needing to grocery shop but lacking the time and energy to do so is a common challenge. Hectic work and school schedules, more pressing errands to run and other time demands add up, leaving few opportunities to drive to a grocery store, fill up a cart, pay, load the groceries into your vehicle, drive home and, finally, unload them.

Fortunately, food retailers have devised a method to help ease the stress of time-constrained consumers seeking a quicker method of purchasing groceries. The click and collect model allows shoppers to compile and submit their grocery list online and have everything from frozen dinners to fresh produce hand-picked by store employees and delivered to the customers’ vehicles in the store parking lot. Customers who utilize the click and collect system can be home with their pantry and fridge stocked with groceries in as quickly as 30 minutes.

Today, 20 percent of Americans purchase at least some of their groceries online. That number is expected to grow to 70 percent by 2025. Click and collect shows that retailers are not ignoring that data; they’re using it in an attempt to meet changing customer expectations. Executed properly, a good click and collect experience could generate enhanced customer loyalty and spur future purchases. On the flip side of that coin, just one bad experience — for example, one bruised piece of produce or damaged frozen good — could lead to the loss of a customer and detriment to a brand name.

Another major challenge for retailers interested in implementing a click and collect option is the need for new (or improved) refrigeration and order fulfillment strategies to ensure proper temperature and humidity conditions are maintained throughout the entire process. Repeated door openings from workers going in and out of the cold storage or refrigerated locker may make it difficult to maintain food quality.

As a result, refrigeration systems must be equipped with robust capabilities to meet the following requirements:

  • Fast, effective temperature pull-downs
  • Controls to optimize system performance for peak use and energy savings
  • Demand-driven defrost schemes
  • Consistently reliable uptime
  • Energy-efficient operation methods
  • Always-on, remote monitoring capabilities to respond to potential issues
  • Diagnostics for early detection, prediction and fault prevention

Click and collect represents a tremendous growth opportunity for food retailers as consumers continue to embrace online grocery shopping. To succeed in this competitive arena, earn customer loyalty and capture market share, retailers will likely need to delight their customers with every transaction. Emerson is committed to giving retailers the tools they need to help deliver the freshest, highest-quality foods and make the most of this opportunity.

For more information, read the full article here.

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