Commercial refrigeration is used in commercial and retail food storage, commercial kitchens, transportation of foods, circulators for pharmaceuticals and vaccines, cold storage facilities, commercial ice manufacturing plants. Commercial refrigeration also includes commercial walk-in freezers and commercial reach-in coolers. A commercial refrigerator is a cooling system that maintains the temperature and humidity of commercial property for storing food and drink.

A commercial kitchen or canteen can make use of commercial refrigerators, commercial freezers, commercial chest freezers, commercial upright freezers, commercial blast chillers and commercial ice makers.

Commercial walk-in freezers are used in retail chains such as supermarkets and restaurants to store meat and seafood at -23° Celsius (USDA Standard Refrigerator Temperature). Commercial chest freezers can be fitted with racks inside them to maximize storage volume which is important when they are used to store items like frozen products. The big access doors on these units allow easy loading and unloading of large of food stuffs and the heavy duty commercial hinges keep them secure.

Commercial kitchen refrigerators are used in a commercial kitchens for keeping items like fruits, vegetables and dairy products at required temperatures. These commercial refrigerators are available with glass doors or wire shelves that allow easy visibility of stored food items.

A commercial ice maker is an essential part of any commercial food service industry as they help provide large quantities of clean ice which is used to cool drinks, preserve foods and maintain temperature control during cooking processes. Ice makers are ideal for bars, hotels, restaurants etc.; the most important features being accurate temperature control, noise free operation and capacity per cycle/load.

The commercial refrigeration sector has enjoyed significant growth over the last ten years with investment into new technologies thanks to growing consumer concerns around food safety and environmental issues.

The commercial refrigeration sector is fiercely competitive with the top three market leaders holding 75%, according to a recent survey. These industry giants operate on a global scale and their commercial refrigeration units are available at restaurants, supermarkets and other retail outlets worldwide. The global commercial refrigeration sector has been expanding significantly due to growing demand for commercial and industrial cooling applications and increasing preoccupation amongst businesses to proactively adopt environmentally sustainable technologies, such as commercial ice makers which produce clean, distilled water used in commercial kitchens or commercial walk-in freezers that use non-CFC refrigerants which do not deplete the ozone layer.

According to Datamonitor consumer of commercial refrigerators (CRs) and commercial freezers (CFs) was valued at USD 5.25 billion in 2007; however it is projected to reach USD 8.30 billion by 2012 at a compound annual growth rate of 5%. The commercial refrigerators and commercial freezers market is driven by the food retail industry which accounts for approximately 50% of commercial refrigerator sales, while 40% of commercial freezer sales are attributed to the commercial manufacturing sector. Other significant users of commercial refrigeration equipment include bars, restaurants and caterers.

Commercial refrigeration equipment such as commercial kitchen refrigerators sell through specialized dealers who achieve economies of scale through national distribution networks that provide their customers uninterrupted supply-chain service and advanced technical support services. Manufacturers also work directly with end users, offering commercial products that are tailor made to meet specific commercial requirements.

Commercial freezers and commercial refrigerators are widely used in commercial kitchens, commercial food manufacturing, commercial bars and restaurants.

The commercial ice makers market continues to be one of the most rapidly growing segments within commercial refrigeration equipment. Datamonitor forecasts a 10% CAGR for the period 2007-2012 with a value in 2012 of USD 1.9 billion compared to USD 1.4 billion in 2007. Ice makers’ costs have been reduced significantly over the last five years due to increasing competition amongst manufacturers. Ice technology has become more sophisticated during this time with many ice machines now being able produce clear ice cubes along with crushed and flaked ice variants which add further value for the end user. Customers are also placing a greater emphasis on energy saving commercial ice makers as they provide a more sustainable commercial solution for their business.

The commercial refrigeration sector has been subject to innovation over the last five years with commercial refrigerators and commercial freezers being marketed which have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by using environmentally friendly, HFC-free R134a as a working fluid compared to CFC-based equipment still in use today. In addition, commercial kitchens now offer better functionality through improved access to work surfaces whilst supporting the integration of new information technologies such as touch screen control panels that help manage daily operation from centralized computer terminals or mobile devices.

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