The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a massive disruption in the food industry. In the UK & Ireland, it is expected that this new landscape will result in an increased demand for frozen storage space.
As many consumers stay indoors, online grocery shopping has increased dramatically over the last few weeks. The new consumer demand will present some challenges and new trends in the food industry. Learning about how these will shape the market will help producers prepare for new demands and possibly, keep their business running.
More temperature-controlled space
Until now, consumers were not ordering many perishables online, but that has changed. The trend is likely to stay for months to come once users get more comfortable with the new buying habits imposed by the crisis. Food box deliveries are becoming more common on every doorstep: fish, meat, charcuterie, bread and pastries, cheeses, potatoes and wonderful organic vegetables from local and small producers are now available to purchase online.
The dairy sector in Ireland is predicting that finding appropriate cold storage facilities will present problems in the following weeks, as the summer milk production peak is reached. In Ireland, only 10% of the milk supply goes into the high-end market of hotels and cafes which has been, by far, the hardest hit in this crisis.
Similarly, restaurants and foodservice companies may see a significant shift. With no dine-in options in place and more delivery or take-aways on the rise, a need for extra cold storage capacity will also be expected for businesses operating here.
The challenges of Covid-19
The cost of building a new cold storage space is a huge barrier. Securing the necessary building materials was already difficult before COVID-19 due to the uncertainty about Brexit increasing the demand for cold temperature-controlled storage capacity in Ireland and the UK.
But this is not the only challenge businesses will face under this unprecedented demand and consumer behaviour shift. With many grocery stores and restaurants quickly adapting to carry on business by meeting new requirements, cold-chain safety when transporting goods from A to B will be a crucial process for them to analyse.
For companies that are new to deliveries of temperature-sensitive products, this will mean an investment in the right equipment to maintain the safety of end-consumers.
Gel Pack Preconditioning
Freezer Plate Preconditioning could become an essential element for companies looking to improve efficiency within the cold-chain. This solution will not only maintain the health and safety standards intact but will also help businesses reduce the costs involved with cold storage.
Gel Packs or Freezer Plates are used within insulated containers, trucks and vans to prolong storage and allowing the safe transport of fresh produce. Last year our work highlighted many inefficiencies in the use, storage and preconditioning of eutectic plates.
With the implementation of a Blast Freezer combined with the Thermo King Magnum Plus temperature cooling unit, your business will be able to offer a perfect environment for the fast, effective freezing of Gel Packs.
If your current plate storage is posing a problem, or you feel the associated costs could be a little leaner, reach out to CRS today. One of our experienced staff will discuss your requirements and recommend the best solution.
Take a look at how we have helped other businesses like yours meet demand and increase efficiency with Gel Pack Preconditioning solutions.