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The Great Commercial Freezer And Cooler Debate

closeup of commercial refrigerator door handles image on the Due North website

Business owners can get stuck in the weeds when it comes to making pivotal decisions around a commercial freezer and cooler that can spark sales and overall growth. One such decision has to do with the way in which products requiring refrigeration are stored and displayed.

supermarket freezersYou may think product sales will handle themselves, and the freezer displaying products has no impact on how much product moves. We respectfully disagree.

Examining the chest freezer

Chest or bunker style freezers are most commonly chosen based upon budget. Simply put, they are a low cost solution for merchandising frozen products.

It’s probably no surprise that they represent 75% or more of all freezers purchased by ice-cream and frozen novelty manufacturers and distributors.

supermarket chest freezers

But is unit cost the ONLY factor in determining ROI? We think not.

Chest freezers maximize pack-out, and are ideal for housing irregular product shapes (those less prone to standing upright) such as cones, Popsicle, etc., but they also consume a larger footprint than their upright counterparts.

A look at an upright commercial freezer and cooler

The argument goes like this; “Why spend thousands on eye catching, innovative packaging designs only to hide them away in a bunker, away from consumer eyes?”

The single most compelling attribute of upright freezers is their impact on “Sales Lift”. By improving product visibility (at or near eye level) and presenting multiple face outs, consumer awareness and product visibility improves. In fact, many of our clients in beverage and pet food sight Sales Lift numbers as high as 35% by comparison to solid door and chest style designs.

True, uprights cost more but what is the cost of 35% less revenue over the 10 year lifespan of the freezer?

Upright freezers also occupy a smaller footprint because they expand vertically. And with a broader range of sizes and designs than bunkers they can accommodate virtually any application or in-store location. Minus Forty offers a size range in uprights from a 2 Cubic Foot Single Door all the way up to a 44 Cubic Foot Double Door.

Freezer maintenance and product presentation

upright supermarket freezer

Most bunker/chest style freezers are “Static” designs that lack a defrost feature keeping them free of that nasty looking frost build up than can accumulate rapidly in a retail environment (frequent door openings and humid temps are to blame). As a result they require constant, labour intensive maintenance. And what does all that frost build-up convey about product freshness or potential freezer burn?

By comparison, our under counter and floor standing uprights are all “Frost Free” designs that do not require intermittent shut-down for defrosting.

Choosing between each of these freezers really depends on your products and retail layout. A mix of both is almost always the most prudent decision. It all comes down to what works best to help your business grow and draw customer attention to your highest margin products.

We’re eager to help you make the right decision. Contact a member of our team to get started today.

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