Econofrost woven aluminum night covers are now available to supermarkets in China. Econofrost joined around 200 Chinese and foreign owned enterprises associated with retail display and marketing to demonstrate the benefits for supermarkets in using Econofrost night covers to help preserve refrigerated foods and reduce energy waste.
An Econofrost representative says, “Food retailers and supermarkets play a vital role in preventing foodborne illnesses and assuring that customers are taking home the safest and highest quality foods. Not only is it good retail practice to maintain high quality chilled food displays at optimal temperatures, but failing to keep foods chilled below critical levels will soon show up in diminished quality and lost sales.” Econofrost explains that food temperatures fluctuate in open display cabinets.“Constantly changing storage temperatures are perhaps the biggest threat to food quality and products near the front of display cabinets suffer the most degradation from temperature fluctuation.” Studies have shown that up to 95% of all heat transfer is a result of radiation from the mass of warm air in the store into the open refrigerated display cases. Products near the exposed front of the display case can be warmer by 7 degrees to 8 degrees C than products placed farther in the back of the case. One independent study reported that “maintaining stable temperatures throughout the case during closed hours significantly reduced premature spoilage and thus extended product shelf life.”
Econofrost reflective night covers effectively create a thermal barrier in refrigerated display cases and stabilize lower temperatures in the cases overnight by reflecting warm air away from the chilled foods on display. Giving the refrigeration units a rest at night saves energy and protects the chilled foods from temperature fluctuations.
Of all the materials used for refrigeration night covers, Econofrost uses a specially designed aluminum fabric because it is the most effective material for reflecting heat. Econofrost states, “The choice of aluminum as a shield material as opposed to other materials readily available is due to its low emissivity. Aluminum has been found to be 20 times more effective than plastic, linoleum, and plastic film at reflecting radiated heat from open refrigerated display cases.”
Addressing another challenge for food retailers, food coolers in warm environments often produce high levels of condensation. Perforations in the woven aluminum fabric of Econofrost night covers allow condensation to evaporate and prevent mildew from forming, further prolonging shelf life and maintaining food high quality.
Econofrost has been serving the supermarket industry in over 25 countries since 1975 and has made over 250,000 installations. Econofrost is a world leader providing retail technology solutions for merchandisers. Market Group also manufactures Promolux Safe Spectrum lighting, balanced spectrum low radiation lamps designed specifically for meats, dairy and all fresh food displays.
The proliferation of supermarkets in China is in the news for good reason. Huge new stores are changing the way business is done in China, transforming traditional on-the-street food retailing into large-scale centralized food delivery systems, from the city centers outward. The supermarket as we know it was a brand new phenomenon in China only fifteen years ago. Since the early 1990s, the introduction of huge supermarkets and even larger “hypermarkets” to cities in all provinces accounts for a significant part of China’s “economic miracle” and the phenomenon is rapidly changing China’s entire system of food distribution on an unprecedented scale.
The world has not failed to recognize that modernization of China’s economy today means more goods of all kinds are quickly becoming available to vast numbers of potential consumers, shoppers are flocking into new brightly-lit multilevel supermarkets with banks of electronic checkout registers and magnetized escalators that hold shopping carts in place between floors.
Food distribution systems have never before gone through such rapid and dramatic development affecting so many people as is happening in China today. Shanghai currently has 124 hypermarkets and is adding more. French owned Carrefour chain did 2 billion euros of business last year in China and in May announced plans to open 20 new hypermarkets in 2006, compared with 14 new stores last year, and intends to continue their momentum at least until 2008. In June, Walmart receive half their revenue from food items, followed up by announcing plans to match that number of new stores this year, aiming at smaller cities such as Yuxi, Yunnan Province, in China's southwest region. Furthermore, the Chinese government is reported to be subsidizing 250,000 new supermarket openings in rural areas from 2005 to 2008.