Worldwide refrigeration sales worth £20bn by 2016

Global demand for commercial refrigeration equipment is forecast to rise 4.4% a year through to 2016, according to a new report.

Demand will benefit from strong growth in a number of the world’s larger developing nations, particularly in Asia, taking the value of worldwide refrigeration sales to $32 billion (£20 billion) within the next three years.

While the UK will have its part to play in that growth, China and India are slated to be the fastest growing markets for commercial refrigeration equipment moving forward.

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The Freedonia Group, which is behind the report, says that China has been the fastest growing world market for commercial refrigeration products over the past decade, posting double-digit annual growth rates and more than quadrupling in size over those 10 years.

As economic growth in the country slows, demand gains for commercial refrigeration products will decelerate, but will remain the fastest in the world.

India, despite its massive size, remains a relatively small market for commercial refrigeration equipment, with per capita demand ranking among the smallest in the world.

However, heavy investment in infrastructure and rising incomes will create strong potential for growth, and demand gains for these products in India will be the second fastest in the world. Other developing nations with strong growth prospects include Indonesia and Thailand.

The US market, which suffered heavily during the 2007-2009 recession, is predicted to recover and post substantially stronger growth, although gains will slightly trail the world average.

The US remains the world’s largest market for commercial refrigeration sales, and will account for nearly a quarter of global sales growth through 2016.

Gains will result from an improved macroeconomic outlook, as rising consumer spending encourages food industry participants to expand the number of retail outlets and restaurants.

In addition, food industry participants will be more willing to make equipment upgrades that had been deferred due to a weak economy.

Coolers, freezers and display cases are anticipated to be among fastest-growing products over the next three years.

Sales of reach-in and walk-in coolers and freezers will benefit from gains among food retailers in restaurants, particularly in developing countries, according to the report.

Growth in demand for refrigerated display cases will be rapid as well, supported by rising standards of living and increasing proliferation of large food retailers.

The growing number of restaurants, particularly in the fast food segment, will also spur stronger gains in demand for beverage refrigeration equipment and ice machines.

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