Why a Flower Display Fridge is Needed for your Floral Business
The Right Flower Fridge is vital to the success of your Floral business. Customers look for quality and freshness in their bouquets and a Flower Fridge will help you accomplish this. You may think you can simply use a standard commercial refrigerator for your cold floral storage. This is actually not the case. Flowers need high humidity and gentle airflow to remain fresh and beautiful. The average commercial cooler actually creates low humidity because most food items remain the freshest in this type of environment. In addition, rapid air movement helps maintain low humidity in most commercial coolers and this fast air flow can easily hasten the dehydration of your flowers and cause inventory loss.
In contrast to a standard commercial cooler, a Flower Fridge is specially designed with the delicate features of flowers and plants in mind. Flower Fridges utilize high humidity and low air flow to protect the petals, leaves, and stems of flowers. These coolers are equipped with low-velocity evaporator coils to ensure that air movement is slow and gentle. This ensures that petals and leaves do not become dehydrated and dry out. Flower Fridges are also designed to keep humidity high even at the low temperatures flowers need to be stored at. High humidity also works to protect and preserve the different parts of flowers and plants so they look their best when your customer purchases them.
Flowers remain their freshest if they are stored at 0.5°C ~ 1.6°C directly after being harvested. This means your cooler needs to be able to maintain this temperature in order to properly store your inventory. A humidity and temperature monitor can help you make sure your floral cooler is working properly and your products are stored safely in a way the keeps them fresh.
Flower Fridge will make your inventory last longer and your customers will be more satisfied with your product when it is stored and cared for properly. You’ll lose fewer flowers to dehydration, bacterial infections, and stem wilt. With a longer shelf life, your inventory loss goes down drastically and your customers will come back for more.
Since the purchase of this equipment is essential to your success, knowing the difference in refrigeration coolers is vital. First, take a look at the difference in the environmental needs of various products. Flowers require an environment with high humidity and gentle air movement. Flowers exposed to low humidity and rapid air movements begin to dehydrate. The shelf life of flowers that have become dehydrated is cut drastically. Packaged items like food and beverages, on the other hand, have a longer shelf life in low humidity and are not affected by rapid air movement. Keep in mind rapid air movement causes a low humidity condition.
Think of a concrete driveway after a rain. On a day where there is little to no breeze, the concrete stays moist for a very long time. On a day where there is a strong breeze, the concrete dries out very quickly. Why is this important in the floral industry? When a flower dries out the petals tips curl, turn brown and collapse creating an inferior or dead product.
With the understanding of the environmental condition needs of certain products, we can discuss the difference in floral coolers and commercial coolers for food and beverages. Floral Fridges are built to have gentle air movement and to encourage high humidity. Shelf life and flower quality are very important factors that will affect your bottom line. If you send an arrangement to a customer with an inferior product, your customer will no longer trust your work. If the shelf life of your flowers is three days instead of seven, your product costs will increase.
WHAT MAKES A FLORAL COOLER DIFFERENT FROM A COMMERCIAL GLASS DOOR REFRIGERATOR?
Though they may look the same from the outside, it’s the inside that makes floral coolers different from commercial food or beverage coolers.
Temperature, humidity, and airflow are all important factors in maintaining the lifespan and freshness of flowers, and these three things, along with the cooling mechanism that controls them, comprise the biggest differences between a floral cooler and a glass door food or beverage cooler.
Since food and drinks are denser than flowers, a standard commercial refrigerator is designed to quickly cool them down, without much regard for humidity. Conversely, the specially-engineered cooling systems in floral coolers are designed with temperature AND humidity in mind.
WHAT HUMIDITY LEVEL AND TEMPERATURE IS NECESSARY TO KEEP FLOWERS FRESH?
Flower Fridges are designed to hold the humidity within the cabinet at a higher level than a standard glass door refrigerator; the optimum humidity level is 95%, while the minimum is 80%.
This humidity is strategic, as it decreases the amount of moisture the flowers may lose to the surrounding air, thereby prolonging their vase life and keeping them from wilting, dehydrating, or burning out prematurely.
Flower Fridges also have a baffled airflow which ensures adequate circulation at low velocities, which is less harsh than the higher velocity, fan-driven airflow in a standard commercial cooler.
Temperature is another important factor in the lifespan of fresh flowers. Because of their low density, flowers react to temperature changes very quickly.
Therefore, Flower Fridges are designed to hold the temperatures inside the cabinet at 1.5° C, which is slightly lower than a normal commercial cooler, and precision is key.
I FOUND A COMMERCIAL UNIT THAT’S ALSO MARKETED FOR FLOWERS- DO I TRUST IT?
Oftentimes, operators make the mistake of buying a unit from someone who says they’ve converted the system for flowers. Be very wary of these claims.
As mentioned before, the refrigeration systems in Flower Fridges are designed with certain differences than their commercial cooler counterparts that are vital to the flower’s life and freshness, not to mention your sales and profit. Making the necessary changes to a refrigeration system that can handle flower specifications can be very costly.
HOW MUCH MAINTENANCE IS REQUIRED?
Like any piece of refrigeration, Flower Fridges require some maintenance, but if well taken care of, they should last for many years.
Make sure you have proper airflow around the cooler and keep the refrigeration unit free of dust.
Having a small, hanging thermometer on the inside of the cooler is a smart, inexpensive back-up that will help you better regulate any unexpected temperature changes that occur.