Solid-State Cooling Innovation from Phononic Demonstrates That Consumers No Longer Have to Make Concessions at the Concession Stand

9 Apr

Phononic, a global leader in solid-state cooling and heating that is breaking the boundaries of semiconductor innovation, has announced the deployment of the first-of-their kind Phononic F200 Merchandising Freezers in PNC Arena’s new grab-and-go eatery. As a top sports and entertainment venue ahead of the curve in meeting the demands of today’s consumer, PNC Arena’s placement is consistent with new survey findings, commissioned by Phononic, that detail consumer preferences for food offerings and placement in arena environments.

Rethinking the Store of the Future: Arena Edition” is part of Phononic’s second annual “Store of the Future Report for 2019,” which surveyed more than 1,100 U.S. consumers to uncover preferences relating to the food shopping experience. Consumers were asked several questions relating to their general satisfaction with food offerings at locations including sporting arenas and entertainment venues.

“We’re now seeing the ripple effect of the ongoing grocery wars moving beyond conventional grocers and big-box retailers and into recreational settings like stadiums and arenas,” said Dana Krug, Vice President and General Manager, Food and Beverage, Phononic. “The underlying desires dictating today’s traditional grocery shopping decisions hold true in entertainment environments as well. Consumers want healthy and fresh options and the ability to quickly grab their food of choice. However, consumer sentiment shows that many of these facilities remain behind the times, relying on dated concession stand models, legacy refrigeration and freezer equipment, and a decades-old menu of stadium staples that aren’t resonating with younger generations.”

PNC Arena, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Raleigh, NC and home to the Carolina Hurricanes and NC State Men’s Basketball, recently launched a new grab-and-go eatery, offering fans a reimagined concessions experience. PNC Arena adopted Phononic’s F200 Merchandising Freezer, enabling the sale of frozen treats to fans on the counter, directly at the point of sale. Phononic’s freezer was the ideal sustainable solution, with its compact, aesthetically modern design and quiet operation. This is made possible by its solid-state foundation, which eliminates the need for a compressor and requires no harmful refrigerants to operate. What’s more, its refrigeration and freezing solutions can be placed anywhere within the arena because they don’t require special power drops and are nearly silent, unlike conventional compressor units.

“At PNC Arena, we are always looking for ways to offer fans an enjoyable and differentiated experience,” said Don Waddell, President of Gale Force Sports & Entertainment at PNC Arena. “Phononic has been an innovation partner in the launch of our new grab-and-go eatery. Its solid-state freezer technology has opened a new door for product placement and guest satisfaction, in addition to helping us meet our sustainability goals, while reducing the time and cost spent on maintenance and repairs.”

With this implementation, PNC Arena is skating ahead of the competition, especially as it pertains to convenience and distribution of fresh and frozen goods throughout the retail footprint. In fact, Phononic’s first annual Store of the Future Survey found that 68 percent of consumers would be more likely to try new products if they are at checkout, and 46 percent want food retailers to have more checkout options for frozen and/or refrigerated items. These views were reaffirmed – and expectations raised – in the 2019 report, which found that more than half (52%) of consumers now expect frozen and refrigerated items to be distributed throughout the store.

The report revealed several key findings related to the diversity of venue fare, the dietary inclusiveness of entertainment options and satisfaction with current service models. Results of the survey also explored how views differ based on generation and gender. Key highlights include:

  • Consumers seek more options: Three-quarters of Americans (73%) want a wider variety of food at recreational facilities, with 70% of respondents saying they want these options to be healthier and/or fresher than what’s currently available.
  • Dietary choices are lacking: More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents say these venues don’t offer enough choices for those following different diets.
  • Opportunity for grab-and-go: Over three in five Americans (63%) say they’d be more likely to buy food in entertainment or amusement settings if they had more refrigerated grab-and-go options available. In particular, consumers demonstrated a desire to see grab-and-go options available for purchase at movie theaters (42%), recreation centers/public parks (40%) and gyms or sports clubs (23%).
  • Views vary by generation: Younger consumers are more likely to express dissatisfaction with the current variety of food offerings, with 78% of millennials and Gen Xers feeling frustration as opposed to only 66% of Baby Boomers and 56% of respondents from the Greatest Generation.

For more information on this study, please visit: https://content.phononic.com/2019/sotf-arena.

To see PNC Arena’s grab-and-go concept eatery in action and learn more about how Phononic’s technology is helping entertainment venues rethink the concession stand, watch our video in the carousel above.

To learn more about all of Phononic’s commercial food and beverage offerings, visit: https://phononic.com/commercial-refrigeration/.

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