Lets look at how many of these are sold every year in India..
Approximately 4.2 million units of domestic refrigerators are sold in India and the market is worth Rs. 4000 Crores...... Refrigerators are a subset of the consumer durables industry.
The two segments (or types) of domestic refrigerators are, the older “Direct Cool” refrigerators that require manual defrosting and the newer “Frost-Free” refrigerators. The former account for 70% of the volume but are growing @ of 3% while the frost free segment is a mere 30% but is growing at 50% yearly.
LG has the leading market share of 40% in the frost-free segment followed by Samsung whereas Whirlpool has market lead in the direct cool segment with 30%. There is also a super premium segment where one gets a TV, Internet, MP3 and other gizmos attached to a fridge, but that segment is small.
Refrigeration means removing heat from a space by sudden compression & expansion of gases, which result in cooling. The gases for cooling & insulation were traditionally methyl chloride & sulphur dioxide, which were toxic. Later Freon was used which releases chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) the chlorine content of which depletes ozone. Currently gases like R22 & R407c are used but research is still on for the greenest refrigerant.
So it is ironic that while the most used appliance in the modern household saves Trillions for human kind through food preservation today, will have an unknown impact in future…at least that’s the way things stand now!!