The company had earlier introduced the EZO ends on its Chunky and Select ready-to-serve soups in May 2000 and reported "overwhelming positive" consumer response.
"Everything is moving over" says John Faulkner a Campbell spokesman. "As the remaining stock of sanitary lids moves through the supply it will be replaced by the pop-top." When the new cans began to reach store shelves last September a violator on the iconic red-and-white label called attention to the new EZO end.
The printed EZO steel ends with aluminum ring-pulls do add some pennies of cost points out Jeff DeLiberty marketing manager for can and primary end supplier Silgan Containers. Because the new convenience end caused Silgan to retool from a 211x315 to a 211x400 can size plus the investment in equipment for what Silgan calls the Quick Top EZO ends this represented a sizable capital commitment.
However DeLiberty predicted that by 2008 some 65% to 70% of all steel cans will be using EZO ends and he noted that this was the "first improvement in metal cans driven by convenience" as opposed to safety and quality.
Campbell Soup peppered the consumer media with press kits announcing the "extinction" of the can opener. But at the same time Campbell will be selling what it calls its Pop N’ Pull Tool designed specifically for easy removal of the EZO ends.