Crown Cork & Seal's Eole III is 25% Easier To OpenACC Manufacturing (Manchester), one of the largest dairies in the United Kingdom, recognized that innovation and convenience are key in a competitive market. By transitioning its rice pudding and custard cans to feature easy-open ends, it has created a customer-friendly package that enhances brand equity in a crowded playing field.
"Easy-open ends are the ultimate in convenient consumer packaging. No can opener is required, and packages instantly become portable," said Chris Green, ACC's commercial manager for consumer products. "We saw that easy-open ends were being introduced on products like beans and soups, and knew it was only a matter of time before consumers expected them on dairy products as well. Making the switch early positions ACC as an innovator."
Seeking an easy-open end that matched the performance and quality of standard ends, ACC turned to Crown Cork & Seal for its Eole III high performance easy-open solution.
Adding Value for CustomersACC is a major manufacturer of rice pudding and custard products for both the ACC label and other branded products. Maintaining brand appeal was a key concern when considering the switch to easy-open ends.
"We've been following easy-open end technology for quite some time," said Green. "Crown's development of Eole III convinced us to make the change."
Easy open ends are judged according the following features: "tab access" to lift the tab, "pop force" to pierce the score, "tear force" to initiate the peel and "peel force" to remove the panel. These forces are particularly important, as they define whether the consumer feels and actually is in control during opening. The lower the force required, the greater the acceptability by consumers.
Manufactured using thinner and harder double reduced steel, Eole III decreases the force required to open the can by 25%. It is significantly smoother and easier to open without spillage, while not compromising performance through filling, handling and distribution channels. Tabs are positioned so consumers find them more accessible, and they still lie flat enough to prevent catching in filling and processing machinery and to allow efficient stacking.
Making the SwitchThe transition from standard ends to Eole III proved to be a smooth and economical solution for ACC. No large up-front investment was required, and only minor machinery adjustments were necessary. "The changes that were needed were absolutely minimal," said Green. "In total, the changeover took only a few weeks."
Production of ACC rice pudding and custard cans with Eole III ends began in February 2002. To date, the transition has been smooth, and the new ends are expected to solidify ACC's position against competitors. "Customer reaction has already been extremely positive and supportive," said Green.
While still too early to quantify the impact of the new ends, ACC is optimistic. "By going technologically where our competitors haven't, we demonstrate our commitment to innovation," said Green. "Eole III has already given us a better relationship with our buyers."
Crown Cork & Seal Company Inc. One Crown Way Philadelphia, PA 19154