Demand for refrigerated and frozen display cases is forecast to rise 5.5% annually through 2024 to reach sales of USD1.6bn, a new report from Freedonia Group shows. Although the commercial refrigeration equipment market as a whole will decline slightly, authors say, the strength of the food retail market after the onset of the pandemic will support continued growth in display case sales through 2024.
Normal temperature, or refrigerated, display cases account for the larger share of segment sales because most traditional grocery stores have a higher number of refrigerated display cases than frozen cases. Normal temperature display cases are expected to outperform low temperature cases in a continuation of recent trends. Sustained consumer interest in fresh foods will continue to support equipment sales. However, opportunities will remain for low temperature cases because food products stored in these cases have a longer shelf life than fresh foods. This is especially true in convenience stores and discount food retail stores, which tend to stock high profit margin frozen foods for their customers.
Sales of both normal temperature and low temperature display cases will continue to be impacted by the R-22 refrigerant ban. Because R-22 depletes the ozone layer, production and import was further limited in 2010. In 2020, R-22 will no longer be produced or imported. After 2020, only recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies of R-22 will be available, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While a number of users replaced their equipment in the years leading up the ban, there remains a significant amount of R-22-based equipment that has not been replaced because retailers either did not have the financial capital to do so, or they postponed replacement to better gauge the alternative refrigerant system in which to invest.