DURHAM – Phononic announced this week a new solution for active, portable cooling and freezing of perishable goods at an industry conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The product: the “Intelligent Actively-Cooled Tote.”

The company said in a statement that the tote would “make unmatched flexibility and freshness possible for leading grocers and their customers, while also helping retailers meet critical Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) mandates.”

“Across industries, our solid-state solutions are delivering cold chain performance and sustainability that compressor-based systems or other thermoelectric approaches simply cannot match,” said Dana Krug, Phononic SVP, Cold Chain Fulfillment, in a statement.  The product preserves perishable foods and avoids the use of toxic refrigerants, Krug noted.  “That kind of positive environmental impact will be critical for climate control as this sector scales globally.”

Phononic said it is working with three of the top 10 U.S. based grocery retailers, and has plans to expand.  That includes globally, said Krug, in response to an inquiry from WRAL TechWire.

“We are focused mainly on the US and Canada today, but we have been asked to support expansion of grocery chains, automation companies as well as last mile delivery in Europe, APAC and others in the next 12 to 18 months,” said Krug.

The company noted that it is a leading automation partner in “micro fulfillment centers,” or 10,000-25,000 square feet warehouses where automated grocery order fulfillment occurs, at a time when e-commerce grocery orders are increasing.

Each center can support up to 10 stores, Krug said, within 30 minutes of the micro fulfillment center.  Phononic totes can be used to support pick up and delivery order, the company noted.  Krug said that in the United States, companies like Walmart, Kroger–which also owns Harris Teeter, Ahold, HEB, and Albertsons, and others “have started to deploy multiple locations in different markets to support their grocery ecommerce order fulfillment.”

Company CEO Tony Atti spoke at the Groceryshop conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week.  The company secured a $50 million investment earlier this year.