Health & Wellness
Focus on Fresh
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latter of which has obvious advantages in terms of lower
labor costs. Penetration of case-ready products has grown
to about two-thirds of the meat case, ranging by species
from 31% of beef to 98% of turkey, according to the North
American Meat Institute.
One drawback for case-ready meat is consumer perception that it’s “processed” and not as fresh as product
cut and packaged in-store. But Roerink insists this is not
the case. “Shoppers greatly approve of case-ready meat,
and it favorably rises each and every time we look at it,”
she says. “Favorability is even higher among millennials,
and as such it’s a great opportunity for retailers to address
the labor issue, offer packaging innovation that fits shoppers’ new lifestyle and provide competitive advantages.”
Energy efficiency is another important aspect of refrigerated case operation. Grocery stores are becoming more
“green” overall, in aspects such as lighting and trash generation. Energy efficiency not only plays into this, but also
has the potential to save money.
Some case suppliers are offering cost savings through
design improvements. Equipment manufacturer Huss-
mann is able to use 30% less refrigerant in its new Insight
multideck closed cases due to evaporator coil technology
that uses smaller, continuous tubing throughout the coil.
Insight features the AdvantaChill system, which com-
bines improvements in air flow, fans, coil and lighting to
achieve more consistent temperature performance and
lower energy costs.
Another way to improve chilled cases from an ecological standpoint is to use a more eco-friendly refrigerant.
Hillphoenix offers a refrigerant called Second Nature,
based on carbon dioxide. This is used as a secondary
coolant for medium-temperature systems and a direct
expansion cascade refrigerant for low-temperature systems. Not only is Second Nature more sustainable than
conventional refrigerant, but it also reduces refrigerant
charge requirements and leak rates.
Fresh meat and seafood are among the most challenging and influential products to merchandise throughout
the entire store. But retailers who effectively prioritize
the multiple aspects of display cases will see a potentially
profitable boost to a highly important category.
Retail Foodservice Pillars Equipment & Design
—Tom Henken, api(+)