What Trends Are Driving Commercial Refrigeration?

The commercial refrigeration market could see substantial growth in the coming years. By some estimates, the industry may reach a value of more than $30 billion in just five years, a 6.8% increase from 2017.

Commercial refrigeration is an essential part of business that will continue to expand. But shifting demands and concerns may change what this growth looks like. Discover five trends — like an increasingly international market and a growing desire for sustainability — that will drive the industrial refrigeration market in 2020.

Demand for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods

One of the most significant factors influencing the market is the demand for fast-moving consumer goods, also referred to as FMCG. Fast-moving consumer goods are items sold by companies like PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble — pre-packaged food, beverages and makeup that sells quickly and cheaply. 

Many of these items have a short shelf life, so they require refrigeration. As more supermarkets pop up in developing countries, these products grow in demand. These countries are not the only ones using FMCGs, as nearly all nations consume processed goods at an increasing rate.

The more FMCGs people buy, the more stores will stock. This increase in demand will require more cold space to hold all the products. Fast-moving consumer goods are quickly changing the commercial refrigerated industry.

Natural Refrigerants

The safety of the environment is a growing concern. More people are pushing for eco-friendly solutions in virtually all areas, and the refrigeration sector is no different. Natural refrigerants are becoming a global preference.

Synthetic options like hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) can deplete the ozone, causing environmental damage. To combat climate change, many companies made the switch to natural refrigerants like ammonia or CO2. Over the next few years, we’ll likely see a boost in sustainable options as environmental concerns become more prominent.

CO2-based systems are especially likely to increase. Not only is this gas natural and sustainable, but it’s energy-efficient and not flammable. It may take a while for the majority of stores to switch over, but this shift will slowly become apparent.

Energy-Efficient Refrigeration 

Not only are companies pushing for their refrigeration to be eco-friendly, but for it to be efficient. Efficiency ties into sustainability since it means less energy waste. It also saves money. As refrigerator use grows, so does energy consumption, so business owners naturally want more efficient systems.

Experts have tracked a significant rise in supermarkets across Europe and other parts of the world. These stores all require energy-efficient refrigerators to help them maximize their profits. This need will drive the refrigeration market towards efficiency.

Producing energy-efficient systems helps the commercial refrigeration industry in two ways. First, it offers companies a more profitable solution to their needs. Plus, it satisfies the desire for a more eco-friendly business model. 

International Food Trade Growth

The world is becoming more interconnected. Thanks to modern technology, goods of all kinds can ship around the globe. As companies export and import more products, the demand for on-the-go refrigeration grows.

Transportation refrigeration includes components such as cooled lorry containers and shipping units. Systems like this are essential to shipping food over long distances. With a growing international food trade, the need for this technology is more pressing than ever.

It’s easier and more cost-effective to import certain goods than to produce them locally, a fact that contributes to the rise of international trade. We will most likely see an enhanced focus on this branch of refrigeration in the coming years.

Growing Demand in Asia-Pacific

Europe had the largest commercial refrigeration market in the past, but Asia-Pacific might take this place shortly. The European and North American markets are reaching maturity, while the Asia-Pacific sector is seeing noteworthy development.

Part of this growth is due to the region’s expanding population. India’s citizenry could reach 1.4 billion by 2023, with China close behind. With more people to feed and serve, refrigeration will become a more significant asset. 

Urbanization plays a role in increasing demand. As more people move into cities, the need for supermarkets and restaurants grows. These establishments, in turn, feed the demand for cooling services.

The Top Commercial Refrigeration Trends

Although it may look different from what it does today, the global market for commercial refrigeration will keep on growing.

Megan Ray Nichols
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