A Case for the Future

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A Case for the Future

By Bob Ingram - 08/18/2011

A successful supermarket foodservice operation is based on several factors: menu planning, freshness, quality, and the equipment to present product in the most attractive manner while maintaining its attributes throughout its entire shelf life.

Today's display cases certainly fulfill these missions, but what do the suppliers of this equipment see in the future? Progressive Grocer's Foodservice Trend Alert recently posed this question to several manufacturers who are “on the case,” literally, and received the following responses:

“High efficiency and low energy display cases have become very popular trends,” notes Marjorie Proctor, design and marketing specialist at Hill PHOENIX. “However, with the new DOE 2012 requirements, energy is going to remain on the forefront for years to come.”

John Davis, business development manager at Traulsen, says, “Successful in-store merchandising equipment will continue to offer increased mobility, as well as the ability to attractively display various products while maintaining food safety requirements.”

Mike Higgins, vice president marketing, strategic planning and business development at Hussmann, replies, “Creating more flexibility to change store layouts and merchandising offerings with the same equipment, enabling faster store build-outs through innovative and integrated refrigeration system designs, continued advancement in medium-temperature display cases with doors to improve energy efficiency and temperature performance to increase product shelf life, and improved visual merchandising to drive increased sales through design elements such as aesthetics and LED lighting.”

Michael Hebden, senior product manager at Vollrath, sees “more grab and go styles” in future display cases.

Meanwhile, “Retailers continue to look for cases that use less energy, but not at the expense of merchandising effectiveness,” according to Carl Petersen, marketing and advertising manager At Zero Zone, Inc., who continues, “Energy-efficient display case design, therefore, will be paramount, but in conjunction with features that entice shoppers and promote a more comfortable and appealing shopping experience. Display cases that accomplish both objectives will be highly prized.”

Finally, George Parsons, director of display case engineering at Kysor/Warren, says, “The bottom line is that in today's marketplace, supermarkets want more than just a well-made piece of equipment. Instead, they want quality refrigeration solutions for their business.”