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This study covers the global commercial refrigeration equipment industry. Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for 2024 and 2029 are provided in US dollars. Demand totals for each country are also presented in inflation-adjusted constant dollars, with exchange rates benchmarked at 2019 levels. Production and net exports are presented in US dollars.
For each country, product demand is presented for:
display cases (including normal temperature and low temperature; open and closed types; rear access and self-service)
reach-in and walk-in refrigerators and freezers
beverage refrigeration equipment (e.g., drinking fountains, soda fountain equipment, beverage cooling equipment, beer dispensing equipment)
refrigerated vending machines
other commercial refrigeration equipment
liquid chillers and cryogenic equipment
compressor racks (or compressor systems)
refrigerated food preparation stations
standalone water bottle filling stations
mortuary refrigeration units
replacement parts, including condensers, compressors, filters, seals, and valves (parts sold to OEM suppliers are excluded)
Excluded from the scope of this report are consumer-type refrigerators, transportation refrigeration systems, and large industrial refrigeration products such as evaporative air coolers and condensing units..
In addition, demand is discussed in terms of market:
food and beverage retail, including convenience stores, mass merchandisers, supermarkets, specialty stores, and any other retail outlets that may sell food and beverages, such as pharmacies or discount stores
foodservice, which is dominated by restaurants and bars (including both limited- and full-service establishments), but also includes dining services offered in a number of other outlets, such as:
company cafeterias and canteens
day care facilities
government facilities and military sites
lodging and hospitality establishments
sports and recreation venues
food and beverage production, which encompasses:
production of food and beverage products both at processing plants and on farms
the storage of goods awaiting shipment to distributors or end users
food and beverage warehouses, which are used to temporarily store goods in transit
other markets for commercial refrigeration equipment, including:
hotels and motels
universities, and medical and scientific establishments
pharmaceutical production facilities and other manufacturing plants
Global commercial refrigeration equipment demand is affected by multiple factors, including:
population growth and demographic trends
consumer spending and fixed investment expenditure patterns
nonresidential construction activity trends
agricultural activity and food and beverage production trends
nondurable goods industries trends
Demand generally grew over the past decade, supported by the replacement of equipment in developed countries to meet environmental regulations, and the increasing penetration of commercial refrigeration equipment in developing areas.
Demand by Region
Global commercial refrigeration equipment demand in projected to increase 1.8% annually to $34.7 billion in 2024. Intensity of demand for these products – relative to urban population size and food and beverage manufacturing – varies considerably from region to region, as markets for commercial refrigeration equipment are sensitive to consumer spending on food and beverages.
Key factors influencing commercial refrigeration equipment demand in a country or region include the number of:
grocery stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, and other food retail outlets
restaurants, bars, and other foodservice establishments
food manufacturing and distribution facilities
The Asia/Pacific region accounts for the largest share of sales, reflecting the massive populations of China and India, as well as the presence of highly developed nations like Japan and South Korea.
North America and Western Europe both have very large markets for these products relative to the size of their populations, as high consumer income levels in these regions support sizable foodservice industries and large numbers of modern food retail outlets. Both regions also have strict regulations for food and beverage products, refrigeration equipment, and refrigerant use.
As the global economy recovers from COVID-19 pandemic, growth in demand for commercial refrigeration equipment will be strongest in developing nations, as increased urbanization and income levels will support expansion of food retail and foodservice industries:
Brazil, China, Mexico, and Indonesia are projected to be among the fastest growing markets between 2019 and 2024.
The Asia/Pacific region will account for 44% of new product demand through 2024.
The Africa/Mideast region will also post strong growth, although low income levels will continue to restrain the size of local markets.
Political weakness, economy turmoil, and the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region will cause Central and South America to underperform the global average.
Led by the US, North America is projected to register healthy growth as the region’s large replacement machinery needs drive market gains in the US and Canada, and Mexico’s market continues to develop.
Eastern and Western Europe have limited growth prospects through 2024 as their markets contract in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but gradually recover from these lows, aided by consumer spending, tourist visits, and food and beverage production.
Changing refrigerant regulations will also play a key role in equipment sales going forward. Most of the world’s major markets will be at least moderately affected by a required shift to more environmentally friendly refrigerants. As controlled refrigerants are phased out, operators will be required to either upgrade or retrofit their equipment to be compatible with other refrigerants. Throughout the world, a number of regulations are expected to take effect in the near future, likely generating increased investment in new refrigeration equipment as owners bring their equipment to compliance ahead of time.
Global demand for commercial refrigeration equipment is forecast to grow an average of 1.8% annually through 2024 to $34.7 billion. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to an 11% decline in equipment sales in 2020 and continuing weakness in early 2021 due to:
restrained consumer spending, limited mobility of people, disrupted equipment supply chains, and reduced fixed investment expenditures
wreaked havoc on foodservice operators, one of the largest markets for commercial refrigeration equipment
However, the global commercial refrigeration equipment market is expected to improve significantly in 2022 as multiple trends support recovery, including:
population growth and increasing personal incomes in developing regions, boosting consumer spending on food and beverage products
expanding consumer preference for fresh and high-quality frozen foods
growing use of advanced refrigeration technologies in mature markets to improve performance and reduce the environmental impact of refrigerants
a shift from fairly basic models to more sophisticated commercial refrigeration machinery in Eastern Europe and developing middle-income countries in the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions
Although demand for commercial refrigerated equipment will generally grow at an above average in the developing countries of Central and South America, the Asia/Pacific, and the Africa/Mideast region, the markets in these areas will remain small due to underdeveloped electrical grids and widespread poverty. In North American and Western Europe, opportunities will be limited by the large amount of commercial refrigeration equipment already in use and prolonged weakness in nonresidential investment.
Asia/Pacific Region & North America to Account for Majority of Market Gains
Through 2024, the Asia/Pacific region and North America are forecast to account for 80% of all new commercial refrigeration equipment demand globally. Along with China, multiple developing markets in the region will register solid gains as:
consumer spending on food and beverages rises
new food retail outlets, commercial centers, and institutions are built
local food and beverage processing industries grow
the use of these machines in nontraditional settings increases
Additionally, the Asia/Pacific region has generally handled the COVID-19 pandemic better than most, allowing economic conditions to stabilize and restrictions to be lifted earlier on.
In North America, the US will account for the bulk of regional market gains, although Mexico and Canada are expected to perform fairly well. North America has considerable commercial refrigeration equipment replacement needs:
Operators in the US and Canada are at the forefront of technological innovation and will continue to invest in the next generation of display cases, refrigerators, freezers, and other equipment.
In Mexico, market gains will also be aided by a recovery in tourism and as well as by increased consumer spending on foodservice and refrigerated or frozen retail goods.