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Trend for hot-food options pushes demand for heated merchandisers

Merril Boulton ·

Sales of heated multi-deck merchandisers are on the rise, according to Uxbridge-based foodservice and food retailing equipment provider, Fri-Jado UK Limited. The company’s director of National Accounts, Gary Thacker says the trend is being repeated across the broad spectrum of the food-to-go sector, including forecourts, convenience stores, symbol groups and independent quick service restaurants.

“Customers looking for food on the move are no longer content with cold snacks and meals. Diners are increasingly seeking a hot food option, especially during the colder months. The advent of meal deals has further exaggerated the demand for hot grab & go options.”

Thacker says the Fri-Jado range of self service, heated MD merchandisers is suitable for the display of a wide variety of hot, pre-packed snacks and meal solutions, including whole chickens, chicken portions, panini, pies, sausage rolls, pasties, hot rolls and wraps.

"The range include models with three, four and five tier displays, each of which is available in 600 mm, 1000 mm and 1200 mm cabinet widths. The upright design of the display units offers a large capacity relative to footprint, making maximum use of sales floor space," he says. "The large display area of the cabinets reduces the potential for shelf stock being exhausted and consequent lost sales, especially during periods of peak trading. It also reduces the frequency of shelf restocking."

The range also includes a two tier, space saving model, on which a four or five spit rotisserie may be mounted, combining food preparation and presentation, whilst creating additional kitchen theatre and promoting impulse purchases.

The heated MD merchandisers incorporate a patented hot blanket-holding technology, designed to deliver a consistent and food-safe holding temperature of 65°C and above, maintaining cooked food at the perfect quality and appearance for at least four hours and reducing the amount of merchandise that may be price discounted or thrown away, due to product deterioration. The MD models also benefit from air curtain technology on the front of each shelf, retaining hot air within the cabinet and recycling it via the canopy. This feature limits warm air spillage, creating an energy saving of some 20%.

The MD merchandiser range has been engineered to deliver a range of food to go focused features. Panoramic shatter proof glass end walls, safe to touch sloping shelves and illumination on each shelf maximise product visibility to encourage impulse purchases. The display units have an illuminated canopy with the facility for signage or branding, as well as EPOS ticket strips on the front of each shelf. Additional features include a bump rail to prevent cabinet damage from shopping trolleys, castors for simple relocation of the unit and optional pass through doors for restocking from the rear.

Thacker added: “Our heated MD merchandisers provide an excellent standalone solution for the display of hot, pre-packed snacks and meal solutions. They are particularly suited to high traffic food to go operations, providing aesthetic presentation and optimum visibility of merchandise to promote impulse purchases. For larger stores, with a broader menu offer, MD merchandiser models may be suited with our complementary range of chilled and heated, self-service and serve-assisted Modular Counters to create a comprehensive food to go concept.”

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 19 March 2018
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands122.46131.58119.60
North East121.7959.90131.53118.66
North West122.0658.80129.31118.83
Northern Ireland121.4469.90127.23119.16
South East123.2769.90131.23120.66
South West122.83128.65119.82
West Midlands121.83129.90119.22
Yorkshire & Humber121.66129.86118.80

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