A new report estimates worldwide sales of walk-in coolers and freezers at $8.6 billion in 2019. Widespread consumer acceptance of frozen and processed food, along with a steep rise in the demand for efficient refrigeration facilities to store and maintain the shelf life of these products allude a brighter future for the walk-in coolers and freezers market, as outlined in a study produced by Future Market Insights, Valley Cottage, N.Y.

Digitalization and smart technologies continue to influence equipment development and demand-side dynamics.

“Walk-in coolers and freezers are witnessing transformations under the influences of smart technologies and digitalization, and consumer preference for customized yet efficient equipment has led manufacturers to emphasize application-specific features in new product development,” the study outlines.

According to the study, key players in the walk-in coolers and freezers market remain focused on improving energy efficiency, considering the continuous changes in energy conservation standards for various commercial and industrial equipment, including walk-in coolers and freezers.

Walk-in coolers and freezers continue to gain high traction from commercial kitchens and restaurants, which are widely used to preserve raw foods and grocery items. As international fast food chains and café outlets continue to explore opportunities in various attractive destinations, demand of walk-in coolers and freezers continues on an upward swing across the globe.

North America and Europe have been the early adopters of commercial kitchens and restaurants, however, they are reaching their saturation point. As a result, walk-in cooler and freezer manufacturers are tapping into opportunities in developing countries in East Asia, where multi-cultural environment, changing eating habits and rising disposable income continue to open avenues of growth for commercial kitchens and restaurants.

According to the study, newer trends and rapid expansion of retail food and beverage sector also represent a significant source of demand for walk-in coolers and freezers. Picture-perfect stores are gaining high preference among today’s consumers, especially Millennials obsessed with social media platforms.

Walk-in coolers and freezers with self-contained refrigeration continue to account for higher share as compared to remote condensing and multiplex condensing. Considering the suitability of self-contained refrigeration in almost any application along with ease of service and maintenance, this category also continues to witness higher innovation and investments.

According to the study, the walk-in coolers and freezers market shows a high level of fragmentation, and therefore, several market players are focusing on forging strategic alliance with other players to improve market shares.