Refrigeration Magazine - January 2023

Page 1

CONGRATULATIONS to Award Winners CHALLENGES of the Traditional Ice Market Meets In February
Photo by Yann Allegre on Unsplash


Mary Y. Cronley

(404) 819-5446

Senior Staff Writer Joe Cronley

(404) 295-5712

Art Direction Markurious Marketing

(678) 439-6534

Mary Y. Cronley

9 YOUR PRODUCT How convenience store owners can combat meltflation DEPARTMENTS 4 SPICE A few notes... CONNECT WITH US Find us on Facebook at 14 AD INDEX A list of our advertisers. Be sure to support them. 14 CLASSIFIED ADS Classified advertisements by region FIND OUT MORE Visit us online at IN THIS ISSUE 6 AWARDS Icemen win industry awards 12 CONVENTIONS Save the date for the 2023 SWIA Convention 13 GUEST STORY The Big Day By Mike Landino 7 CONTINUING EDUCATION ASHRAE opportunity coming to Atlanta REFRIGERATION Magazine │ January 2023 3
206 │ No. 1
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Coming right up is the Southwestern Ice Association convention, Feb. 16-18 in Kerrville, Tx. For more information, see page 12.

C And the year begins..

Also in this issue, congratulations are in order for several in the ice industry.

Jarrod Snyder with York Ice Company, of York, Pa., was awarded the second Jane McEwen Distinguished Service Award, Jeff Tyler of Tyler’s Super Quality Ice Co., Tyler, Tx., was inducted into the Ice Industry Hall Of Fame. Frank Lomangino of Ice King and Storage received the Bill Berkoski Advocacy Award.

For more on these well-deserving individuals and the rewards they received, please go to page 6.

Happy reading !

4 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ January 2023
“Congratulations are in order for serveral in the ice industry.”

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Jarrod Snyder awarded Jane McEwen Distinguished Leadership Award

CCongratulations to Jarrod Snyder with York Ice Company, York, Pa., on being awarded the Jane McEwen Distinguished Leadership Award. Jarrod was awarded the second Jane McEwen award. Established in 2020 in honor of the IPIA’s longtime executive director, the award recognizes International Packaged Ice Association an IPIA member who has provided outstanding and selfless leadership and has made a notable contribution to the International Packaged Ice Association and/or packaged ice industry.

His professional peers, in nominating him, said, “He’s been an integral part of the association for years and is a constant voice for the IPIA and the PICQS program, which is the backbone of the IPIA.


Jeff Tyler and Fred M. Lomangino win industry awards

CCongratulations also to Jeff Tyler, Tyler’s Super Quality Ice of Tyler, Tx., who was inducted into the Ice Industry Hall of Fame on November 10, 2022. Well known by the ice industry, Jeff’s peers said, “Jeff in a longtime iceman. He is well respected and has great admiration for his fellow colleagues. Throughout his career, he has been a huge supporter of the IPIA and Southwestern Ice Associations. He has shown true dedication and passion for this industry.”

In addition, Fred M. Lomangino and his Ice King and Cold Storage Team were awarded the Bill Berkoski Advocacy Award. This award is given annually to an IPIA Member Representative or Company that. through their marketing and or advocacy efforts, has promoted the IPIA “Ice Is Food” vision for consistent standards. Fred is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the IPIA as well as a past board member and committee member. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU

6 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ January 2023
! RM





The cost of goods and services in the United States continues to go up, impacting industries across the board. At the same time, supply chain slowdowns from COVID-19 have triggered services and product shortages. Supply chain strains and the resulting inflation have led businesses and third-party distributors of goods to quickly adjust prices to combat inflation rates, leading to higher consumer prices.

Convenience store owners who have lost the predictable flow of goods from their supply chain partners and have seen prices skyrocket for everyday items have especially felt the pain.

While prices are increasing, the amount of product consumers get is also shrinking. From coffee to tissues and granola bars to ice, companies are quietly shrinking portion sizes without lowering prices. “Shrinkflation” is the term coined to describe this phenomenon.

It’s taking over industries worldwide and has even made its way to bagged ice. The standard 10-pound bag of ice has quietly been reduced to 7 pounds over the last few years. Customers are getting less product but paying the same price, if not more, leading to “meltflation.” This means convenience store owners are paying 30 percent more for the same — or less — amount of product than before, depending on the delivery service.

The product decline is a result of the country’s ice manufacturers facing increasing fuel costs, labor shortages and higher wages, exacerbated by the pandemic and supply chain challenges. Meltflation is a way for ice producers to quietly save money and maintain revenue while hoping consumers won’t notice.

Challenges of the Traditional Ice Model

Convenience stores across the U.S. still use the traditional bagged ice model, which comes with various challenges. Before bagged ice reaches the convenience store or the consumer, it must be made in a factory, packaged, kept cold, shipped in a refrigerator truck, and stored.

Every step in the chain increases the price of bagged ice. Whether it’s to fill coolers or provide for parties, people buying bagged ice are looking for large quantities and bulk buying. Seven-pound bags aren’t huge, so customers are spending more to satisfy their needs.

Not only does bagged ice present problems in terms of cost and less product, but the quality and sanitation of bagged ice aren’t meeting consumer standards either. Bags can tear during transport or when customers sort through the merchandiser for selection. Traditional bagged ice is handled multiple times throughout the production and transportation

REFRIGERATION Magazine │ January 2023 9
Faced with supply chain strains and resulting inflation, it’s time to rethink the traditional bagged ice model.

process, making it difficult to ensure all product is moved in a sanitary manner.

Bagged ice also introduces stocking issues, especially in the warmer months and during holidays. Ice bunkers have limited capacity, and ice may run out of stock during peak demand.

Like most industries, the convenience store industry has faced significant labor challenges, including employee turnover and staff shortages. With limited help, convenience stores are struggling to meet customer demands. Having to deal with unloading the ice off the truck and restocking the ice bunker makes it more difficult for employees to tend to customers’ needs.

Solving Meltflation

Recently, a more accessible, cost-effective and environmentally safer alternative has entered the market that dispenses 10 pounds of ice per purchase, eliminates the need for third-party distribution, restocks automatically, and has the potential to significantly reduce the use of plastic bags.

Ice and water vending is a unique business model that has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. With ice and water vending, convenience store owners can sell their customers 10 pounds of ice per vend at a lower price and will not have to rely

on third-party distributors to restock, eliminating the risk of running out of product. An ice and water machine will automatically restock itself, can cater to the customer rushes of the warmer seasons, and no additional employees are needed to handle the machine.

Because ice vending produces 10 pounds of ice for less than 25 cents compared to the $1.25 to $1.50 for a delivered 7-pound bag, store owners can offer economical prices for 30 percent more product, while providing a convenient experience for their customers. Owners can also put the machine outside, freeing up valuable in-store space and giving customers 24-hour access.

More importantly, ice and water vending can lighten the load on convenience store owners and allow them to focus on everyday operations while reducing reliance on the supply chain and thirdparty ice providers.

Ice and water vending is an exceedingly economical solution to saving both store owners and customers money. RM

Ben Gaskill is the co-owner and director of sales and marketing for Everest Ice and Water Systems. He has worked in the manufacturing industry for 20 years and has extensive experience in leading high-level sales strategies for capital equipment and wide-ranging product lines.

10 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ January 2023
“Like most industries, the convenience store industry has faced significant labor challenges, including employee turnover and staff shortages. With limited help, convenience stores are struggling to meet customer demands. Having to deal with unloading the ice off the truck and restocking the ice bunker makes it more difficult for employees to tend to customers’ needs.”


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12 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ January 2023


Here we go again, Finley thought with his usual amazement. Everybody’s smiling and laughing, patting each other on the back, and it’s not even lunch yet; yep, it’s that time. He never ceased to be amazed at the sudden change of attitudes that took place at this time of the year. Why can’t they try to be happy all the time? It’s not that hard. In his seventh year as a security guard for the Down Town Ice Company, Finley’s outlook on life was simple. He had a job, a roof over his head, and great friends. What could surpass that? Life was good and why shouldn’t it be? Though the ice plant was within a very rough side of a very tough city, Finley, only on two occasions had encountered criminals with mischief on their minds. Both times the bad guys fled at his presence. On several occasions, thugs would walk into the ice plant parking lot, look arrogantly around, see Finley, and walk away.

Quiet by nature, tall and muscular, the middle-aged guard tried to make every day the best day he ever had. Each meal was the tastiest ever, every sunrise the most spectacular he’d ever seen, and each pat on the back for a job well done was appreciated as if it were the first. He didn’t stress, did not hold grudges and woke each morning rearing to go. Life was good, almost.

His co-workers were a great bunch of guys and had always treated him good. They had all kinds of nicknames for him – “sheriff, boss, deputy,” and Finley loved every minute of it. Though he did not drive a delivery truck, bag any ice, work on the equipment or answer the phone, his comrades treated him as an equal, even better sometimes. The show of respect for the job he preformed came in many forms, but a pat on the back was always good enough. Finley loved his job. It was just odd to him as he witnessed year after year, all the guys making an extra effort to be nice during the holiday season. It took him by surprise at first, but as the years passed, he came to accept their ritual. Every year as the days shortened and snow fell from the sky, his friends went out of their way to shake their co-workers’ hand and speak with unbridled enthusiasm

REFRIGERATION Magazine │ January 2023 13 GUEST STORY

for the days to come. Gifts were exchanged, lots of goodies passed around, and in general, the mood was light and heart-felt.

And of course, everyone one was nice to Finley. Words of friendly banter and fellowship, and the pats of the back were the rule of the day for him, but thinking clearly, he wondered how much of that was due to his role within the company. As a security guard in a crime-filled part of the city, he knew his role was important. Put to the test twice, he successfully ran off the would-be thieves. The first attempted break-in was thwarted by the guard’s mere presence on the scene. The second and last break-in was aborted as soon as the burglar attempted to crawl through the broken window and met Finley. After an initial struggle, the thief ran off bleeding and screaming in fear. The security guard had been treated like a celebrity every since. All in all, other than his lonely personnel life, he was very happy. But as always, the habits of his friends at the ice plant kept him bewildered and amused at the same time.

Entertainment is where you found it and for Finley, there was plenty to keep amused about. The guys tended to play a lot more practical jokes at this time of the year as well, and he considered that for some time before deciding the jokes were part of the festive nature of the

season. It was not that the guys were unfriendly to each other during the rest of the year, far from it. But he always wondered why they tried so hard to be more compassionate and cheerful during the cold winter weeks leading to the big day. That’s what he took to calling it: the big day. He knew they called it by another name, and their faces shined brightly at the mere mention of that name, but Finley’s upbringing allowed for none of that. The concept of why that day meant they had to be jolly was foreign to him.

But they were a good group, Finley told himself again. Great guys. Look at them, the guard for Down Town Ice Company thought as he chuckled inwardly at the yearly ritual of his fellow workers, they cannot contain themselves.

Always slow in the winter, half the crew was laid off but those who remained stayed busy enough bagging and delivering ice and otherwise helping around with projects around the plant; but there was always time permitted to munch on the holiday snacks and have a little fun. Even the timid Tim smiled and joked with the others. Normally a very shy person, young Tim Bolger came out of his shell, if only for a brief couple of weeks, to eat the many varieties of chocolates, cookies, pies, and other sweets that filled the counters in the front office as well as the refrigerator and counter in

the lunchroom. Sometimes, more often than he’d like, Finley found himself watching them in envy. They all had someone to go home to while he spent his nights alone. He did not begrudge his friends for their luck, he just felt lonely sometimes.

On the eve of the big day the mood was quite exuberant. Most of the crew would be gone by early afternoon and that in itself brought great anticipation. Laughter and food were abundant in the large lunch room and it was all music to Finley’s ears. The owner’s wife, Sally, cheerfully handed out gifts from under the decorated tree. Wrapped in bright festive paper they were passed about to the eager crew with quite a few going to Finley. It was good to be appreciated and he couldn’t knock the gifts either. It was all great. But soon, he knew they would leave early to spend time with their loved ones and friends, and he, as usual would spend that time alone. He didn’t always feel this way. But as the years passed, Finley wondered more and more if he would ever be able to fill the void in his life. Having his friends at the ice plant was great but Finley still shared his nights with loneliness.

Earlier than in years past, the party broke up. Looking out the window, Finley saw the snow falling hard. Each of his friends bid him farewell and one by one they left. With a final pat on the

14 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ January 2023

back, the boss wished him well and locked the door behind him. Not a sound could be heard other than his own breathing as he looked about the plant. The large icemakers stood tall among the other equipment. Each machine had been shut down for the evening. Finley did two more walk-rounds before retiring to his sleeping quarters. Maybe he’d lie in bed for awhile. The boss had giving him free room and board with a rather large unused office serving as his bedroom. Jim had brought him in from the streets over seven years ago, gave him a job and a place to live. Finley was eternally grateful for that. He knew some had not been as fortunate. With a final gaze out the window, he lay in his bed and wondered again what it would be like. If only I had companion.

Finley woke with a start. It was dark. How long had he’d been sleeping? Some guard you are! He ran to the front door and heard the sound of keys jingling. The familiar voice of the boss and his wife allowed him to relax but at the same time wonder what they were doing back at the plant. The door opened to reveal the couple smiling widely. Jim held a box. Sally had her arms wrapped around a small thick blanket in her arms. It was moving! A small head popped out from the warm protective warmth of the brown fleece quilt. A puppy! With a pat on the back, the boss asked Finley to follow. Happy beyond belief,

the security guard for Down Town Ice Company giddily obeyed. A puppy!

Sally sat gently on the floor in Finley’s room. She opened the blanket to reveal a beautiful Doberman Pinscher puppy. No more than three months old, the small male puppy jumped from her grasp and ran to Finley. Leaping in the air to lick the ecstatic guard’s face, the young dog ran circles around him while barking happily. Sally and Jim held hands and watched with quiet pleasure. The look on the long-time security guard’s face made their evening. It was a good thing that they did and both knew it. Finley needed company and this puppy was what the doctor ordered. Jim took from the box a small, stuffed dog bed and sat it on the floor. Several tennis balls, a chew rope and other play toys came next. Finley was awash with giddiness as the small one snuggled up to him. My wish came true.

Two hours later Finley woke. The puppy lay beside him.

On the floor

lay all the young one’s toys along side a rather large bone. The security guard still could not believe his fortune. The small puppy, I think I’ll call him Pup, took to him immediately. After the boss had left, Finley took his new friend for a walk-about around the plant. It took longer than usual as the puppy had to smell everything within the large building. Together they inspected each office with great enthusiasm. Finley was having the time of his life. Yes! Life is good. He looked down to Pup again just in time to see his young friend awaken. The puppy snuggled up closer, sighed with contentment and stared at his big buddy. Finley smiled broadly. He licked Pup on the face and stood. It was time to do another walk around the plant. The puppy followed. The two black and tan Doberman Pinschers, one small and the other large walked out of the bedroom together. As the walked, each one’s short, stubby tail wagged happily. RM


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16 REFRIGERATION Magazine │ January 2023 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING Rates are $1.00 per word, with a minimum charge. Any blind ads, with an assigned box number c/o publisher, add $10.00. Deadline for upcoming issue is the 1st of the previous month. For advertising and listing information, contact Mary at (404) 819-5446 or Ad Index American Ice Equipment Exchange, 16 Automatic ICE Systems, ........................................................... 11 Classified Ads 16-18 Ing-Tech Corporation (ITC), 17 Keet Consulting Services, LLC (RouteMan), 2 KEITH Manufacturing Co., 7 Polar Temp, 5 Sanchez/Patkol, ............................................................................ 8
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