UK Firm Demos More Sensible Approach To Screens In Retail Chiller Fridges

April 24, 2024 by Dave Haynes

A UK retail hardware solutions firm called Theravada is at the Retail Technology Show in London this week, among many vendors, and is showing what it calls a Digital Food To Go Cabinet.

It’s interesting because it is a more sensible approach to the idea of blending digital displays with retail infrastructure like chiller fridges.

Whereas companies like Cooler Screens use transparent LCD in the cooler doors to completely overlay and obscure what’s in the fridges, this set-up instead uses narrow LCD ribbon strips that are part promo, part ESLs for pricing, and things like calorie counts. There is also an LCD bar-type header screen atop the cabinet.

The company has a high-heat version of the displays for retail cabinets that contain contain hot foods.

The cabinets can be sensor activated, as well.

The CMS software driving this is UK-based embed signage.

Companies like Instore Screens have long been marketing LCD ribbon strips for shelf-edge marketing, but in the regular aisles, not the fridges. The concept of incorporating transparent LCD into chiller doors has been around for more than a decade, but cost has been the biggest barrier to adoption. Retailers want brands to spend the money to put them in, and brands want retailers to do that, and let the brands book the space.

Ribbon strips are likely FAR less costly and, at least in theory, pretty easily achieved. I suspect, though, there are are some engineering challenges with the temperature, moisture and so on that comes with cabinets that re chilled or warm all the time.

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