What’s a can opener?

Last night I had to reach for an object that I had hitherto thought of as obsolete – my can opener.

In a world that is geared towards convenience I actually found myself feeling slightly put out by the inconvenience of turning the lever. It sounds lazy doesn’t it? But should the industry be looking to use easy open ends across the board?

I wondered to myself whether or not this element would affect consumers’ choices when buying canned goods in the shops and from my own experience I have to say it would.

Take any canned food item, tomatoes for instance, and ask yourself whether you would mind opening that can with an opener. I am almost ashamed to admit that I would choose to spend more money on a can with an easy open end, rather than resort to my can opener.

It’s bad isn’t it? But how many people would feel the same way?

I’d like to hear your opinions on the matter and how you think it affects consumers’ purchasing decisions. What are the pros and cons of a traditional end versus an easy open?

Please send your responses directly to [email protected] and I will publish then accordingly.



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4 responses to “What’s a can opener?”

  1. Neil McRitchie says:

    I agree and always choose an EOE where possible

  2. Adrian Edwards says:

    Somebody said the same thing to me recently and I couldn’t believe they were serious. When you can only afford ‘own label’ and similar cheap products, you need a can opener for almost everything. I think it is very snobbish to claim that you would pay extra for the convenience of not having to open the can when most people think themselves lucky if they can afford the product in the first place

    • Richard Piper says:

      I have to agree that I am rather snobbish Adrian. However, my question really is whether it would be viable for can makers to use easy-open ends across the board – including own label products. Should the convenience of easy open ends only be available to those who can afford to buy premium brands? I would hope not. Perhaps a can maker or filler can explain why they have not been adopted on own brand products. Is the price that different to a traditional closure?

    • Richard Piper says:

      In addition… It has been pointed out to me since I raised this point that many premium and exclusive brands still use the traditional ‘can-opener’ ends. Why, if not for reasons of cost, would companies not choose to switch to easy-open? Can anyone comment on this from an economic perspective?

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