Indies Improve Refrigeration Efficiency

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Two independent grocers – Kingma’s Market here and Naifeh’s Food Markets, a two-store operator based in Covington, Tenn. — are making use of LED lighting and other energy-saving enhancements provided by Vantaura Energy Services here.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two independent grocers — Kingma’s Market here and Naifeh’s Food Markets, a two-store operator based in Covington, Tenn. — are making use of LED lighting and other energy-saving enhancements provided by Vantaura Energy Services here.

Kingma’s invested in energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration technology for its produce and floral cases to improve illumination, moisture control, and food safety and quality. Components include LED lighting, evaporator fan replacement motors, an anti-sweat heater control system and antibacterial covers.

“There’s a more natural color rendition to our foods and product packaging now,” said Robert Kingma, co-owner of Kingma’s. “Apples would get a blush from our former fluorescent light but with our new LEDs; there’s a nice, natural light on our produce and flowers. Everything looks like it’s fresh picked from the garden.”

Naifeh’s Food Markets, which received a federal grant for energy-efficiency improvements totaling $100,000, has, at both of its locations, installed evaporator fan motors in all refrigeration cases and LED lighting in all reach-in freezer cases and open multi-deck cases.

The motors use up to 65% less energy and allow for up to 300% greater efficiency than traditional motors, said Vantaura, adding that energy consumption can be reduced by up to 60% with the new LEDs. Both components improve food quality through enhanced airflow and more natural lighting, the company said.

“My grandfather, Oney, and father, Joe, taught me the importance of continually investing in and improving our technology for our customers,” said Judson Naifeh, owner of Naifeh’s Food Markets. “By replacing the lighting in all of our refrigerated cases with LED lighting, we are able to give our products the appearance they deserve, be energy efficient and go green.”

He said he is the first retailer in his area to have LED lights in all refrigerated cases.