Gram has upped the ante in the battle to claim energy efficiency superiority by pitting its latest refrigeration cabinet against arch rival Foster’s flagship machine in a public test of electricity consumption.
The quest to be seen as the greenest refrigeration producer has led to a fierce marketing offensive among competing brands in recent years, but Gram has taken things one stage further by conducting a real-life ‘energy contest’ in front of consumers.
Visitors to Gram’s stand at HOST this week would have seen one of its new Superior Plus cabinets standing side by side with Foster’s EcoPro G2 cabinet, with both machines hooked up to a live electricity metre and the number of kilowatt hours consumed displayed on a monitor above.
Gram said it had chosen to pit its new model against the Foster EcoPro G2 unit as it had been marketed as being the most efficient available to the world market.
In a press release ahead of the show, Anders Sjogaard, sales and marketing director at Gram Commercial, had said the real-time contest was an “opportunity to emphatically underline our position as the leading manufacturer of energy efficient refrigerators and freezers for the professional market.”
Yesterday Gram’s UK, managing director, Glenn Roberts, said the main purpose of the stunt was to visually demonstrate the advances that the company has made with the Superior Plus range.
He explained: “The energy consumption monitoring during the event clearly shows the future of energy efficient refrigeration and is indicative of future technological capabilities. The response we’ve had at the event has been very encouraging, creating debate on how, as an industry, we need to work together to deliver clarity and transparency amidst the confusion of green and sustainability claims.”
Roberts stressed that the Energy Challenge featured on the stand was not intended as an independent test but simply an exercise to demonstrate where it can be in the future with the introduction of the Superior Plus range.
“The challenge was conducted as a closed-door trial, which is obviously not the normal operating conditions but is purely a measurement in real time, whereby both units are exposed to the same external environment,” he said.
“It is widely appreciated that the official independent testing method is, and needs to be, complex and vigorous to induce comprehensive and tangible results. There is a general consensus in the industry that suppliers need to come together to give clarity and this can only be achieved by working with the likes of the Carbon Trust to further develop a fair and meaningful measurement process, and not only across the refrigeration category, to give operators the data they need to make an informed decision.
Gram was not keen to get into details of what the electricity metre results had shown, but visitors to its stand this week would have seen the TV monitor displaying its machine as consuming up to 24% less energy than its counterpart throughout the show.
Foster Refrigerator appeared untroubled by its rival’s decision to go ahead with the exercise when contacted by Catering Insight yesterday.
Laura Kirk, head of marketing at Foster UK, said: “We are pleased that Foster products are being seen as an industry benchmark for energy efficiency testing. Reducing energy consumption in refrigeration is imperative, and innovations in carbon reduction across the entire production process all serve to benefit the-end customer.”
As far as measuring energy consumption goes, Kirk said Foster remained “a staunch advocate of multi-faceted transparent testing.”
She said: “We have always taken the view that an independently-tested product provides the most objective and unbiased view of product performance available to customers. The upcoming Ecodesign Directive will enforce national bodies to implement the systematic use of independent testing to verify the self-certified energy credentials of products placed on the market. Regulators recognise that independent scrutiny is fundamental to maintaining the integrity of the energy labelling process, which is the route Foster has taken with verification of our EcoPro G2 range products.”