COVID-19 Sparking At-Home Use of Daikin’s HC Chest Freezers in Japan

Fewer trips to the grocery store is leading to more stocking up of frozen foods at home.

Daikin booth at HOTERES Japan 2021

In Japan, with stay-at-home guidelines forcing the general public to reduce trips to the grocery store, Japanese OEM Daikin has seen a spike in purchases of its hydrocarbon chest freezers for home use.

“In 2020, surprisingly, demand from private residential homes has been increasing,” said Toshitake Kimura, Sales Representative for Daikin's Cold Systems Group, during the HOTERES Japan 2021 exhibition, held in Chiba, Japan, February 15-18.

HOTERES is Japan's largest annual exhibition held for the hotel, restaurant and food service industries.

Daikin exhibited its lineup of hydrocarbon chest freezers, which are mainly sold to commercial end users such as hotels, restaurants and food stores. However, due to COVID-19, “the need to reduce trips to the grocery store as much as possible has led to an increase in the number of residential customers looking for chest freezers to store frozen foods at home,” Kimura said.

Daikin Chest Freezers being exhibited at Hoteres 2021

Daikin began selling chest freezers in Japan in 2017, using R134a at first. However, due to increasing regulatory pressure, the company renewed the lineup in 2018, switching all models to hydrocarbons. It has sold around 1,000 hydrocarbon chest freezers to all channels to date.

Currently, Daikin sells 7 different models:

  • 150l (5.3ft3) using R600a
  • 200l (7ft3) using R600a
  • 300l (10.6ft3) using R600a
  • 400l (14.1ft3) using R600a
  • 550l (19.4ft3) using R290
  • 600l (21.2ft3) using R290
  • 750l (26.5ft3) using R290

Notably, in 2020, Daikin also exhibited AHT’s propane (R290)-based upright refrigerated display cabinets for the first time at the Supermarket Tradeshow (SMTS) 2020, held in Chiba, Japan, February 12-14.

In February 2019, Daikin completed its acquisition of Austrian commercial refrigeration firm AHT Cooling Systems, a major manufacturer of R290 equipment with over one million propane-based cabinets installed worldwide.

By Devin Yoshimoto

Mar 15, 2021, 09:19

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