Hatfield Township is in the northern section of Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County. The farming community is home to several of the region’s oldest and best-known food producers, including Hatfield Township Packing Co. founded in 1885 and Rosenberger's Dairy founded in 1925.

Members of the community place a high value on locally sourced and organic foods and environmental stewardship. As such, planning for the town’s new ShopRite supermarket included making sustainability a priority from product offerings to construction of the store itself — including the choice of refrigeration systems and display cases.

“It is important for us and for the community that ShopRite is environmentally responsible with our refrigeration technology,” said Jim Madanci, ShopRite's director of operations. “Our investment in sustainability sends a strong message to our customers, our vendors, and our community.”

In the early days of the green refrigeration movement, most customers expected that adopting sustainable technologies meant sacrificing merchandising creativity and flexibility. Yet today customers have access to the most innovative, flexible systems and cases in the industry — that do not sacrifice environmental values.

Hatfield’s new ShopRite is the result of a team effort to combine green refrigeration technologies with merchandising that supports the store’s commitment to organic, local, and specialty foods. Representatives from Pennsylvania-based AMF Sales and Associates Inc. and Hill Phoenix worked with ShopRite to design a mechanical and merchandising plan that would not only fulfill the company’s branding mission, but also would meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) GreenChill Gold standards for sustainable refrigeration. GreenChill Gold Award certification requires that a store use only non-ozone-depleting refrigerants. It must also achieve an average HFC refrigerant charge of no more than 1.25 pounds of refrigerant per 1,000 Btuh total evaporator cooling load and a storewide annual refrigerant emissions rate of no more than 15 percent.

Creating Sustainability

ShopRite installed a Hill Phoenix Second Nature® MTLTX2 system that combines a medium-temperature secondary coolant system using glycol and a low-temperature direct expansion cascade system using CO2 as a refrigerant.

Barker Specialty Products by Hill Phoenix provided custom cases. “We went with Hill Phoenix because of their ability to design cases that exemplify our merchandising philosophy,” said Madanci. “The warm colors, curved cases, and interactive experiences make people feel at home in our store. All of this creates interest. Presentation leads to curiosity. Curiosity sparks buying. That’s the key in retail.”

An in-store demonstration kitchen features cooking classes once a week led by a professional chef. Adjacent to the kitchen is a cheese island that includes a service case designed to showcase artisan cheeses and allow for interaction between the cheese manager and customers. For meat and seafood merchandising, ShopRite chose Hill Phoenix Coolgenix® patented conduction heat transfer technology to preserve product freshness while virtually eliminating weight loss. Pulse-flow technology cycles temperatures in the case and retains optimal levels of humidity. Cases can be left stocked overnight, eliminating the need for daily loading and unloading of cases. Coolgenix combined with Second Nature refrigeration systems provides improved product quality with less refrigerant charge, shorter pipeline runs, and lower pressure systems, the manufacturer said.

“Seafood is one of our signature departments. We hang our hat on quality and selection. The Coolgenix cases allow us to showcase both,” said Madanci.

Publication date: 02/13/2012