Opening canned foods

Why don’t more canned foods come with a pull ring rather than needing a can opener to open them?

More and more are. Retooling takes time. Plus there is the added cost of the pull ring and some producers aren’t yet willing to fork over the extra packaging pennies to add the pull ring.

I’ve noticed it more on foods aimed at children (such as a can of Beefaroni or Spaghettios) than other canned foods (especially canned vegetables).

I wonder if the manufacturers have weighed the additional retooling costs for a pull-tab versus the potential costs of a lawsuit if a child cuts themselves using a can opener to open their Spaghettios.

Why the fuck should Chef Boyardee care if a kid cuts himself opening a can with a can opener? I think the Chef should be more concerned about the knife-like properties of the pull-ring top.

The only real reason here is additional cost, which either eats into profits or gets passed along to the customer.

:confused: 50 years? There were some soups, vegetables, and pie fillings that had pull rings when I was a kid back in the 60’s!

Probably just money. The margins on canned food have got to be pretty slim, and for basics (like canned beans or whatever) the consumer is probably just going to pick whatever is cheapest. I know I wouldn’t pay an extra ten cents for a pull ring…I have no problem with using my can opener.

You see pull rings on stuff like soups and chilis, where there are differences between brands and the consumer is likely to consider the packaging when choosing a brand.

Most didn’t. Almost all of the canned foods I had as a kid in the 60s required can openers, and that continued to be the case into the 1970s and 1980s. I honestly can’t recall any cans that had modern-style pull tops that took off the whole lid in the 1960s. (Watch the 1980 film Dawn of the Dead – they talk about Spam being a great food because “it has its own key” – so a.) most cans required can openers, and b.) even Span didn’t come in a pull-ring top can)
It’s probably money more than anything else. Carnation Evaporated Milk continues to be sold in those impossible-to-open-even-with-a-can-opener tins because it’s not worth the trouble of replacing them.

Because we live in a litigious society, and the “won’t someone think of the children” mentality?

Actually, the pull-ring tops aren’t particularly sharp, certainly not as sharp as the cut lids my can opener produces.

Not necessarily. I cut the shit out of my finger one time, opening a can of cat food that had a pull top lid.

I notice that the cans with rings tend to be the stuff a person might open and nuke at work (where an opener might not be all that accessable). Not many would do that with a can of vegetables.

Pull-ring cans are not as durable.

I once knocked a can off the shelf in the supermarket and it opened when it hit the ground. This surprised me, but I noticed it was a pull ring. It was only a drop of a few feet and a regular can would likely not have been damaged.

So maybe manufacturers are noticing more loss due to this on the pull-ring kind.

This, I think, is the primary reason. Easy of opening at work as opposed to home.

I remember when Coke machines had built-in poke-a-triangular-hole style openers. The part that touched where you’d drink from was heated for sanitation purposes. Ah, enough memories.

If pull-ring tops cost more, I wish they wouldn’t be used to help keep prices down. I also like gadgets, including can openers.

I actually prefer needing to use a can opener to open cans–it’s more fun that way. I also once read a study in a veterinary journal that said that cats that eat food from a pull-tab can are more likely to develop hyperthyroidism than cats that eat food from regular cans. I think it had something to do with differences in the inner lining of each kind of can.

Elderly and others with hand mobility issues have trouble with pull rings. Electric can openers are much easier for those individuals.

I read this hilarious article about how we’re not teaching our kids to do anything (like look stuff up in books or figure things out on their own without Googling) - well, the article wasn’t hilarious, but the image the author painted of her 16 year old daughter picking up canned goods and putting them down wistfully when they didn’t have pull rings, because she didn’t know how to use a can opener - that was hilarious.

I hate the pull top rings. If you want to take the lid off all the way, the lid acts as a spring and when it breaks free it sends drops of food all over. With dense foods like refried beans or chili, when all you would usually have to do is open the can and turn it over, poke a hole in the bottom and lightly blow to get all the food out in one solid piece. The ring cans still have a small metal edge that prevents this. The stupid metal edge also prevents you from scraping all the food out with a spoon.