The number of dry ice production systems sold by Kakubayashi for use in food stores amassed 1,800 units as of May 2006, an upwards trend that is expected to continue this year as sales are estimated to reach the 2000 level.

A long-selling item since it went on sale in 1998, the purchase of dry ice production equipment has been steadily increasing in recent years and almost every supermarket offers water, ice and dry ice for free to their customers.

Furthermore, the purchase of replacement units is expected to provide a major contribution to sales as 3 replacement units were sold last year and this has increased to 10 units this year.

According to Kakubayashi, the amount of liquid CO2 sold per unit monthly is 600-800 kg on average with around 13,000 tonnes being sold for this sector annually alone.

The company originally started up business by selling LPG and later moved into high pressure gas and related equipment. For the close of September 2007 the company anticipates that although its LPG division will be adversely affected by soaring import prices, sales of dry ice facilities are favourable and as a result of sales should be flat at around ¥1.3bn.

The company also has a tie-up with The Linde Group, a deal which has been in place for some time now and saw Linde officials make a visit to Japan to exchange information concerning the use of CO2.