Refrigerators are the main reason for supermarkets in the UK being part of our every-day life. There are around 10,000 stores nationwide and refrigeration has made this possible.
Without refrigerated trucks, supermarkets would struggle get supplies of fresh out of season produce, such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. They would also be unable to stock them for any length of time. And without fridges, consumers would be unable to buy weekly supplies of fresh produce.
Refrigerators are traced back to Professor William Cullen from the University of Glasgow. He designed the first refrigeration system in 1748. However, it was American inventor, Oliver Evans, who, in 1805, designed the first refrigerator, using vapour for cooling instead of water. The first machine to be built for practical refrigeration was by Jacob Parkins in 1834. Source: https://www.partselect.com/JustForFun/Major-History-The-Refrigerator-And-Freezer.aspx.
According to The Food Rush, Vincent Astor came up with the idea of a self-serve grocery store in 1915. This concept eventually evolved into the supermarket concept. Tesco in the UK and Costco and Walmart in the US were the early players of the larger stores. Interestingly, the smaller stores were pushed out of the market and, ironically, today we are seeing these brands investing into smaller grocery stores, as consumer behaviour trends back back to daily-shops. For more information on the history of the supermarket click here.
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