This study includes the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Featuring 12 tables and 16 figures – now available in Excel and Powerpoint! Learn More
This study analyzes the United States market for display cases, which include normal temperature (which encompass multiple shelf cases with glass doors used to store beverage cans and bottles) and low temperature types available in open or closed configurations.
Markets included are:
food and beverage retail establishments, including convenience stores, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets, as well as farmers’ markets, produce markets, and other specialty food shops
foodservice, or the service of food to paying or nonpaying customers by restaurants and bars, airlines, company cafeterias and canteens, daycare facilities, food trucks, government facilities and military sites, institutional establishments, lodging and hospitality establishments, and sports and recreation venues
For the purposes of this study, “food” is occasionally used to refer to both food and beverages.
How will the COVID-19 coronavirus impact the global economy? The Freedonia Group is tracking recent developments and analyzing their impact in an easy to follow Economic Impact Tracker.
Excluded from the scope of this study are:
air conditioning systems
all refrigeration equipment designed for residential use
revenues generated from service and maintenance activities on display cases
containers that house food and beverage products for transport
equipment used in liquid natural gas facilities, as the capacity of these products exceeds the defined size of commercial refrigeration equipment
Demand for display cases is presented in US dollars at the manufacturers’ level. Unit estimates are also provided. Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts for 2024 and 2029 are presented in current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation).
Demand for display cases is forecast to rise 5.5% annually through 2024 to $1.6 billion, an improvement over the 2014-2019 performance as:
Retailers continue to replace outdated equipment with new models that feature a number of technologies that improve efficiency or aesthetics by better highlighting the products they hold to encourage purchases.
Display cases continue to be installed in a growing number of nontraditional food retail settings.
New micro-market vending systems, which utilize display cases and a separate point-of-sale system instead of a traditional vending machine, continue to be constructed.
COVID-19 Pandemic Expected to Boost Food Retailer Profits & Potential Store Renovations
Though many industries were hard hit by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, food retail – which accounts for the vast majority of display case demand – recorded strong sales gains during this time. This above average spike in sales could make store renovations more affordable for retailers than it would have been otherwise, though some may still choose to delay renovations until the total impact of the pandemic is more certain.
Changing Consumer Shopping Patterns to Create New Opportunities for Display Cases
The food shopping experience has been undergoing a slow but steady shift as consumers seek more convenience. This has led to a rise in online sales of food, which include:
direct-to-consumer shipment of groceries from a centralized warehouse or facility
food delivery services, where a third-party collects groceries from retailers with storefronts and drops them off to consumer
in-store or curbside pickup, where a store worker or third party collects groceries and the consumer picks them up at the store
The increasing popularity of in-store/curbside pickup services is expected to have a modest impact on display case demand, as some goods ordered through these services need to be stored at a low temperatures while awaiting pickup at the front of the store. While direct-to-consumer food sales have increased as a result of the pandemic, this trend is not expected to have any significant impact on display case sales in the short term, though the facilities that fulfill these orders usually employ other types of equipment to keep food refrigerated.
Ban on R-22 to Have Small – But Not Insignificant – Impact on Equipment Sales Through 2024
Despite the total ban in the US on the production or import of virgin R-22, there is still a significant stock of virgin and reclaimed R-22 that can be used to service existing equipment. As a result, prices for the refrigerant are not expected to increase significantly in the short term, allowing many owners of R-22-based equipment to postpone replacing their systems for now. However, the greater efficiency and long-term availability of systems operating on newer refrigerants is often sufficient to prompt upgrades, especially as newer units generally offer greater aesthetic benefits as well.