Posts Tagged ‘trade show’

Hanging out with Tim Horton and Jimmy Dean, or Freeaire Impressions from the 2011 NACS Show

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Freeaire at NACS

The NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) annual trade show  is not primarily an equipment show — it’s a somewhat terrifying exposition featuring the amazing variety of  processed foods, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco products and varied knick-knacks that are found in convenience stores throughout the land.

That being said, the Freeaire crew returned from the recent NACS show in Chicago feeling upbeat and positive about the experience. We went to this event with the specific goal of forging new connections with small to mid-sized chains of convenience stores that would be good potential users of Freeaire systems, and in this goal we were successful. We also had the opportunity to speak with several journalists covering the event for various industry publications.

Freeaire was quite unique at NACS in that while there were other equipment manufacturers present, no others were devoted to solely to economization and energy efficiency. Attendees did appreciate our approach to reducing costs and energy consumption. Many visitors also commented favorably on the durability and quality build of the Freeaire system.

Here is a quick synopsis of some of the feedback and questions from visitors to the Freeaire booth during the show:

Booth visitor: ‘Wow, I knew somebody would eventually do this (use outside air for cooling)!’

Booth visitor: ‘I’ve seen this type of thing before, but never this nice, never this polished and refined looking.’

Booth visitor: ‘So, your Cooler Controller reduces evaporator fan run times, compressor run times, door heater run times, cooler lighting and what else?’
Freeaire: ‘It can also control electric defrost and it controls our Polar Power outside air system.’
Booth visitor (possibly a competitor): [Speaking to a colleague] ‘Their one box does it all, we can’t touch that.’

Booth visitor: ‘So this isn’t just about outside air – your controller actually saves energy in the summer too, huh?’
Freeaire: ‘Yes, it does.’
Booth visitor: “’Fantastic, that’s great, a year round solution with the ability to make use of winter’s cold too, perfect! I’ll be in touch!’

Booth visitor: So how long have you guys been doing this?’
Freeaire: ‘Well, Richard started this in 1978.’
Booth visitor: ‘That’s longer than I’ve been alive!’

Booth visitor: ‘It seems that you have thought of everything with this system. I’ve seen these before, but nothing this complete’.

Booth visitor:  ’The last time I saw anything like this, it was a simple fan hooked to a light switch. This is real now, isn’t it?’

Want to see more photos from the show?  ”Like” Freeaire on Facebook for more insight into our experience at NACS and for updates about product installs, press coverage, etc.

It’s (NACS) Showtime!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

NACSshow

Freeaire systems have been used successfully in a wide variety of environments — breweries, food processors, server rooms, etc. — almost any situation where a product needs to be kept in a cooler with a size of 1000 cubic feet or greater.  It’s a very flexible, reliable system with many possible applications.

That being said, Freeaire systems have always found particularly wide acceptance in convenience stores, going all the way back to when founder Richard Travers had his “eureka!” moment on a cold Vermont winter night and started tinkering with the refrigeration system at the Warren Store.

Since that moment more than 20 years ago, Freeaire systems have been installed in hundreds of separate retail locations throughout the United States and Canada.

energy consumption in convenience stores

Refrigeration can be the largest single source of energy consumption in a convenience store

The reason that Freeaire systems are popular in convenience stores is simple: Refrigeration makes up a large percentage of the overall energy consumption in this environment.

The Freeaire system dramatically reduces energy consumption over conventional refrigeration systems and produces significant energy savings.

The president of Champlain Farms, a 38 store chain in Vermont and New Hampshire, said installing Freeaire systems in all of his stores was “one of the best business decisions he ever made” (read the complete case study here).

With this track record in mind, we’re excited to be participating in the NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) annual trade show, October 1 – 4, in Chicago.  Going to an event of this magnitude is a big effort for us but we know that we have a story to tell.  We are looking forward to meeting with prospective customers in a face-to-face environment.   Our next-booth-neighbors will be Tim Hortons so come by and smell the doughnuts!

Planning on being in Chicago for the show?  Please come by booth 2950 and say “Hi” — we’d be thrilled to meet you!