You can Improve Sales with an Open Case Produce Cooler

Improve Impulse Sales with an Open Case Produce Cooler

Posted by | 22-03-2024

In the fast-paced world of retail, particularly in grocery stores and supermarkets, how products are presented can significantly influence customer purchasing behavior. One such strategy to enhance product visibility and boost impulse sales involves using open-case produce coolers. These coolers ensure your fruits and vegetables are kept at optimal freshness, making them more accessible and appealing to customers. This blog will explore how to choose the right open-case produce cooler for your needs and how Ancaster Food Equipment can assist you in this venture.

Inside of a commercial store with a refrigeration system

Perfect Design That Suits Your Needs

Choosing the right design for your open-case produce cooler is crucial in maximizing product visibility and enhancing the shopping experience in your establishment. Each design—horizontal, vertical, and undercounter—offers unique benefits tailored to different store layouts and customer behaviors. 


Horizontal open-case coolers, typically between 42 and 46 inches in height, position products at about waist level, making them easily accessible to customers. These units come in various finishes, including white, black, and stainless steel, with glass sides to enhance product visibility. Lighting is a key component, with most manufacturers opting for standard fluorescent or more energy-efficient LED lights. 

For energy conservation, some models are equipped with a night curtain as a standard feature or an optional add-on. This design is ideal for showcasing a broad range of products directly in the customer's line of sight, encouraging impulse purchases through easy access and appealing presentation.


Vertical open-case coolers resemble conventional display coolers and vary in size, making them a versatile option for businesses with different space availabilities. These coolers are typically 57 to 82 inches tall and 30 to 97 inches wide, with the number of shelves (usually three to five) affecting how much product can be displayed. Customization is a strong suit of vertical units, as many feature a lit signage area at the top, drawing attention to the merchandise. 

Adjustable shelving angles enhance product visibility, making every item appealing to customers. Like horizontal models, vertical coolers often come with a standard or optional night curtain, providing energy savings and product protection after hours. This design is suited for establishments looking to maximize product display in limited floor space, offering height as an advantage to showcase a variety of items.


Undercounter air curtain merchandisers, designed to fit neatly under counters, shield products from ambient air temperatures, preserving their freshness. This design is particularly effective for increasing impulse sales when placed under checkout counters or used to create a grab-and-go section within an existing counter setup. 

With heights typically between 32 and 34 inches and widths ranging from 36 to 72 inches, undercounter units offer a discreet yet efficient way to display products. Their placement makes them ideal for storing and displaying cold drinks, snacks, or other items that benefit from being within easy reach as customers finalize their purchases. Consider adding an undercounter unit to complement your existing setup, catering to those last-minute buying decisions that can significantly boost sales.

A store showcasing products in a display freezer

Between a Self-contained or Remote Refrigeration System

Each open-case cooler system has unique advantages and considerations that can impact your store's operation, energy efficiency, and even customer experience. Understanding the differences between these systems will help you make a decision that aligns with your business needs, spatial constraints, and budgetary considerations.


Self-contained refrigeration systems are all-in-one units where the compressor, condenser, and evaporator are housed within the same unit as the cooler itself. This design simplifies the installation process, as it does not require any special plumbing or remote hookups, making it an ideal choice for businesses seeking a straightforward setup. 

Additionally, self-contained units offer flexibility in terms of placement since they don't rely on external condensing units, allowing for easier rearrangement within the store layout. However, it's important to consider that these units can generate heat and noise in the area where they are placed, which might affect the shopping environment. 

Despite these considerations, the self-contained system remains popular for small to medium-sized businesses due to its ease of use and installation.


Remote refrigeration systems separate the cooler's display case from its refrigeration components, such as the compressor and condenser, typically located outside the building or in a different room. This setup significantly reduces noise and heat emissions in the sales or display area, creating a more comfortable shopping environment. Remote systems also tend to offer higher efficiency. 

Remote refrigeration systems are better suited for larger establishments or those with multiple cooling units, as they can centralize refrigeration needs to a single external system. Installing remote refrigeration systems requires more upfront planning and investment, including specialized installation services to connect the display units to the remote compressor. 

However, the long-term benefits include improved energy efficiency, reduced in-store heat, and a quieter shopping atmosphere. Choosing a remote system is often driven by the layout of your space, the total cooling needs of your establishment, and the desire for a more pleasant customer experience.

Inside of a snack bar

Other Factors to be Considered

When selecting an open-case produce cooler for your commercial space, several key factors beyond the basic design and refrigeration system play a crucial role in ensuring your display's efficiency, appeal, and functionality. These factors affect day-to-day operations and contribute to long-term savings and customer satisfaction. 

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is paramount in today’s eco-conscious market. Opting for an open-case cooler with less energy reduces operational costs and minimizes your carbon footprint. Look for models with ENERGY STAR ratings or modern refrigeration technologies that offer greater efficiency. Features like LED lighting, ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) fans, and high-efficiency compressors can significantly lower electricity consumption. Investing in an energy-efficient model saves money in the long run and appeals to environmentally aware customers.

Ease of Maintenance

Another crucial factor to consider is the ease of maintenance. Coolers that are easy to clean and service can help maintain hygiene standards and prolong the lifespan of the unit. Look for models with accessible condenser coils, removable shelving, and simple internal structures that make daily cleaning less cumbersome. Additionally, choosing a cooler from a manufacturer that offers reliable customer service and accessible parts can make maintenance tasks more manageable and less time-consuming.

Location of the Exhaust

The location of the exhaust system in your produce cooler is another important factor. Proper exhaust placement ensures efficient removal of heat generated by the cooler, which is vital for maintaining the desired temperature inside the cooler and ensuring the longevity of the system.


Proper lighting in an open case produce cooler is essential for showcasing your products in the best possible light. LED lighting is preferred for its energy efficiency and superior illumination quality, which can enhance the appearance of fruits and vegetables, making them more appealing to customers. Furthermore, LED lights emit less heat than traditional bulbs, helping to maintain consistent temperatures within the cooler without overworking the refrigeration system.

Adjustable Shelving

The flexibility of adjustable shelving offers numerous merchandising possibilities. It allows you to customize the layout of your cooler to accommodate products of various sizes and shapes, optimizing space and improving the overall presentation. Adjustable shelves can also be rearranged to refresh the display look periodically, keeping the customer’s shopping experience engaging and dynamic.

Temperature Range

The temperature range of your open-case cooler must be suitable for the specific types of produce you plan to display. Different fruits and vegetables have varying temperature and humidity requirements for optimal freshness. Ensuring that your cooler can maintain the necessary temperature range is crucial for preserving the quality of your produce, reducing waste, and satisfying customers with fresh offerings every time.

You can Improve Sales with an Open Case Produce Cooler

How Can Ancaster Food Equipment Help?

For over thirty years, Ancaster Food Equipment has been a trusted provider of refurbished refrigeration products to retail businesses across the United States and Canada. Our extensive experience in the industry positions us as experts in understanding each establishment's unique needs. We offer a broad selection of open-case produce coolers that cater to various store layouts, customer flow, and product-specific requirements.

Our knowledgeable team at Ancaster is dedicated to assisting you in navigating the complexities of choosing the ideal refrigeration solution for your business. Whether your operation benefits more from a self-contained system for its simplicity and ease of installation or a remote system for its efficiency and quiet operation, we're here to ensure your selection perfectly aligns with your installation capabilities and maintenance needs. Trust in Ancaster Food Equipment to provide the expertise and products necessary to enhance your retail space.

Final Words

Investing in the right open-case produce cooler can significantly impact your store's product presentation and sales. By considering the factors discussed, you can ensure that your produce is displayed attractively, maintained at optimal freshness, and accessible to your customers, encouraging impulse purchases.

 If you're ready to take the next step and find the perfect refrigeration solution for your business, don't hesitate to call Ancaster Food Equipment at 1-855-680-4398. Our experts are standing by to assist you in making an informed decision that will elevate your retail space and customer experience.


What is an Open Case Produce Cooler?

An open-case produce cooler is a refrigerated display designed without doors, allowing customers easy access to fresh produce. This setup maintains the freshness of fruits and vegetables and encourages impulse purchases by making the products highly visible and accessible.

What is a produce case?

A produce case is a refrigerated display unit that stores and showcases fresh fruits and vegetables in grocery stores and supermarkets. It is designed to maintain optimal humidity and temperature levels to keep produce fresh for longer periods.

What cools a walk-in cooler?

A walk-in cooler is cooled using a refrigeration system that consists of a compressor, condenser, evaporator, and expansion device. The system circulates refrigerant through these components to remove heat from the cooler's interior, thereby lowering its temperature.

What is remote refrigeration?

Remote refrigeration refers to a refrigeration system where the compressor and condenser units are located away from the cooling space, such as outside the building or in a separate machine room. This setup reduces noise and heat emissions in the area where the refrigerated display or cooler is located, making it more comfortable for customers and staff.

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