Commercial Refrigeration Trends: What to Expect in 2022
Trends change throughout the years, and that's true in every type of industry. In commercial refrigeration there are several emerging trends for 2022. These fall into the areas of appearance, logistics, pricing, and more. To understand what the trends offer and the issues they might present, it's important to look at each one and how they might affect your day-to-day operations. Here's what you need to know about 2022 commercial refrigeration trends.
Remote Monitoring is Becoming More Significant
Being able to check the status of refrigeration from a remote location is a popular trend for 2022. Why? Because the lockdowns showcased the need for access to information when physical access to the equipment wasn't nearly as convenient. Data is needed to ensure that commercial refrigeration systems are staying cold enough, working efficiently, and keeping up with fluctuations in product demand, external temperatures, and other variables.
When retailers can monitor from afar, they can make quick decisions and adjustments anytime they need them, even if they aren't in the building at the time. That helps them control the safety and operation of their products, which can also alert them to a problem early enough to correct it and avoid a lot of food waste.
Environmental Regulations Are on the Increase
The type of refrigerant used and the impact that commercial refrigeration has on the environment are being explored more closely in 2022. Retrofitting refrigeration racks, or replacing them, is becoming more common now that natural refrigerants are more commonly used.
Some states, most notably California, are proposing new laws and guidelines that require more earth-friendly, sustainable refrigerants to be used. As more states adopt this, and laws regarding climate change evolve at the federal level, retailers and others who have commercial refrigeration needs can expect additional changes as the entire industry transitions toward sustainability and safety in their refrigerant usage.
Online Retail Isn't Going Away
Due to the pandemic, dark stores and automated warehouses are both 2022 trends in the commercial refrigeration space. Smart technology allows consumers to go online, shop, pick up or have good delivered without going inside to shop. Research into the behavior indicates that this will continue to be a popular way to purchase items, even after it's safe and common to resume shopping in person. But since online retail is here to stay, retailers will want to take advantage of technology that allows them cut costs and keep things moving.
Some of that may reduce the reliance retailers have on third-party storage warehouses, allowing them to expand what they offer and grow their commercial refrigeration needs to provide enough product for consumer demand. Dark stores can be used by employees, but not by customers, allowing more space for items. This could raise the demand for refrigeration, since there will be more space to increase the number of refrigerated cases available.
There's a Bigger Focus on Cold Chain Quality
If the pandemic taught the industry of commercial refrigeration anything, it was that vaccine storage has to be extremely cold, and extremely reliable, as well. That's notable, because it encouraged retailers and others in the commercial refrigeration space to become more aware of the temperatures their products could reach as they traveled from one place to another.
Temperature control technology played a big role in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, and will now be playing a big role in food storage and shipment. While keeping food at a safe temperature has always been important, the advancement of newer technologies is helping to make those temperatures easier to reach and sustain as food and other products are shipped from one place to another. The continuing development of this technology is a strong trend for 2022.
Virtual Training Will Meet More Needs
Retailers and others who use commercial refrigeration are going to be learning more about it virtually, instead of in person. That doesn't mean in-person training will be a thing of the past completely. But now there's more opportunity for virtual training sessions, as well as explanations of how to correct or adjust small issues.
If a technician can diagnose a problem virtually, they don't need to spend as much time on-site. That can get the problem treated faster, and also reduce the chances of illness from contact. As the pandemic wanes in 2022 and some areas of life return to normalcy, there will still be many other areas that are forever changed. Training and support are likely to be two of those areas, as pandemic-based learning forced the world to discover just how much could be handled online.
Simplicity is the Key Word of Commercial Refrigeration's Future
While some of the changes taking place in commercial refrigeration may sound complicated, that's actually not the case. Simplicity is the real focus, as retailers and equipment producers work together to find new and convenient ways of doing things. The easier it is for retailers to purchase, install and have sustainable systems, the easier it can be for them to manage and have confidence that their systems are complaint for years to come.
Impending regulations required coming up with new and innovative ways for nearly everyone in the industry to focus on getting things done as easily as possible. While that was initially frustrating and stressful, a lot of changes were made that provided future simplicity for retailers, equipment producers, and others who are part of that space. Commercial refrigeration trends will continue to evolve past 2022, but simplicity is expected to be one of those trends that stays strong, well into the future.
Having the Right Equipment and Support Still Matters
The services and products offered by Kysor Warren provide solutions to any issues you may face with trends for 2022 and beyond. With proper support on your side, you can make the transition to different, upgraded commercial refrigeration options that will help you and your customers work together more seamlessly. The post-pandemic landscape looks different in the commercial refrigeration arena, and the right partnerships can help you navigate that landscape more easily.