Food Retailers Benefit from Cold Weather as Sales Increase The annual growth of food sales increased by 2.3% in February as consumers began stocking up on food in the cold weather. The latest report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) state sales picked up after negative growth in January. As the temperature shows no sign of getting warmer, people have been driven to buy increased amounts of cupboard foods such as tinned goods, pasta and soups. Winter vegetables, frozen goods and comfort foods have also been popular, such as pies, pizzas and puddings. With this boost in consumer spending, food retailers have the increased pressure of ensuring they have a consistent supply of these popular goods. Just as important, is the requirement for the frozen and refrigerated produce to remain fresh and stored at the right temperature. Therefore it is important for all retailers, ranging from large nationwide companies to small local shops, to maintain their refrigeration equipment. In order to benefit from this increase in demand, the products provided need to meet consumer expectations as well as health and safety standards. Eventually when the weather changes with the seasons to summer, demand for chilled foods and frozen desserts is likely to increase. Once again, the need for top quality refrigeration equipment will arise. It is recommended that providers of this specialist equipment pay attention to the weather and stay alert to the changing demands food retailers experience, as they will require refrigeration services on an regular basis. Scottish Hospitals Helped by Glasgow Refrigeration Company to Meet Demand Inverclyde Royal Hospital (IRH) and Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) has had state of the art refrigeration facilities at the Greenock and Paisley premises by ACE Refrigeration, to help cope with the increased catering demands. ACE Refrigeration has provided the IRH and RAH with a cooking and freeze production facility, working directly with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and BAM Construction. The new facilities enable the catering teams at IRH and RAH to produce in excess of 4,000 meals per day and meet patients’ catering need for the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area. The brand new state of the art sites have helped GGC centralise its production, saving money, reaping large economies of scale and increasing the consistency and quality of the food created. The Paisley equipment includes seven chill rooms, four rolling blast freezers, seven freezer rooms and three chilled production rooms and the facilities have a combined floor space of 1200 cubic metres. Both of the jobs were finished on time. Sales director of ACE Refrigeration, Shane McKenzie said, “When we were asked to undertake the work, we knew that it was going to be a big job.” “In order to produce more than 4,000 meals a day, facilities like Inverclyde Royal Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital require robust refrigeration equipment because a hospital never sleeps.” “Staff, patients, visitors you name it, they need looked after, which is why it was crucial for us to finish both jobs on time.” “We had to import the blast freezers from Italy. The blast freezer we needed had to be able to produce 500 kilograms of frozen produce on two trolleys per hour, which not a lot of other manufacturers could match up to. The Italian equipment meant that we got the best value for money and production efficiency for the sites.” The company used custom manufactured equipment to suit the unique requirements of IRH and RAH, for example the three specially manufactured compressor packs installed in the Greenock’s site basement, the design of which makes sure there is a maximum possible decrease in power usage. Facilities Manager, David Macdonald at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said, “The experience brought by ACE Refrigeration was invaluable to the design of the facilities and they met our exact needs. “They really are the specialists in the area and worked closely with us throughout the entire build to ensure we got what we wanted.” The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Show 2012 It has been announced that top industry specialists will give their opinions on the future of air conditioning, cooling technology and important business issues at this year’s Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Show (ACR) 2012, which will be held at the NEC Birmingham between 13th -15th March. The exhibition is the only national showcase for networking, innovation and knowledge transfer for the business. The seminar programme will focus on key issues facing the industry, including training needs, changing legislations, new business opportunities and the latest technology solutions available. Expert speakers will give insightful updates to allow businesses who rely on air conditioning and refrigeration equipment to run more profitably and effectively, while making sure they are falling in line with the most up to date legalisations. The show will feature the latest products from over 100 top companies from the UK and abroad. A few of the companies that have registered to attend include, Tesco, DHL, Boots, British Gas, Gatwick airport and John Lewis partnership. The event is being sponsored by six big name companies including Climate Center, the Business Intelligence Theatre, LG, Panasonic, Mitsubishi and Gram and Hoshizaki. The show’s sales manager says, “With a top-notch seminar programme addressing the industry’s burning issues, a comprehensive exhibitor list, and hands-on access to the latest design trends and technology, the show is set to be a must-attend event for everyone whose livelihoods depend on cooling, air conditioning or heat pumps,” The sessions are free for visitors attending the show, but places are offered on a first com first served basis. Will you be attending this year’s Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Show?