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New easy-open lid for glass jars

A new innovation for glass jar lids is set to bring welcome relief to anyone who relies on dish towels, hot water, or a strong partner when faced with opening a jar of their favourite preserve.

Pw 2116 Duerrs
Duerr's, a U.K. jam maker, is introducing the innovative OrbitTM lid across their range of jams and marmalades nationwide following a successful trial in Morrisons stores. Consumer response to the new lids was overwhelmingly positive. While 100% of survey respondents found the Orbit lid easier to open than a normal jar, 86% considered it 'much easier'.

The simple mechanism, developed by Crown Holdings, Inc., reduces the effort required to get the jar open. The appearance of the OrbitTM lid is very similar to a normal twist-off lid, but it is actually in two parts, both steel: a central panel is sealed to the jar by vacuum, and an outer ring is screwed in place to provide further protection.

To open the jar, the user simply twists the ring in the same way as opening a normal twist-off lid. Twisting the ring firstly loosens the ring, then smoothly pushes the panel away from the jar to break the seal. In this way, the ring acts as a tool to break the seal. As the panel is free to move within the ring, the sound made by breaking the seal is accentuated, assuring the consumer of the contents' freshness. Once opened, the jar may be reclosed and reopened as usual.

86% of people who purchased the Duerr's Easy Open products during the Morrisons store trial claim it would now influence their purchasing decision. Responses to the survey were incredibly positive, with 95% of respondents choosing to leave additional feedback including 'hallelujah', 'A fantastic piece of inspired engineering' and 'whoever designed this lid should get a medal'.

The Orbit Easy Open lids are now gradually being phased in on the range of Duerr's marmalade and jam products and are already in stores nationwide. As part of initial research into the usability of the new lid, Design Futures at Sheffield Hallam University were commissioned by Crown to evaluate how the use of the Orbit Easy Open lid could significantly change how people open jars in their home. The resulting research indicated that although many people liked to purchase glass jars because they were re-sealable, reusable, and recyclable many women commented on their difficulty to open and even some men claimed that jars could be stubborn. The study suggested that 22% of the participants that took part in the survey could not open a jar with a normal lid, with the percentage increasing to 40% for women over 50 years of age. Participants that could open both types of lid confirmed that the Orbit  lid was much easier to open.

Several consumer groups in the UK and across Europe have raised their concerns about the difficulties of opening various types of food packaging, highlighting jars as one of the problem areas. With an aging population, the demand for easier to open packaging will only increase.

Richard Duerr of Duerr's comments: "The simplest innovations are the ones that truly have the biggest impact on our everyday lives. This isn't just a product for those with arthritis or weak wrists; it's a product that everyone can use. Duerr's has a long history of investing in market changing technology. In 1905 my great, great, great, great grandfather Fred Duerr pioneered the method of vacuum sealing jars helping our jams and marmalades to retain their natural colour, a method now commonly used everywhere. The new Orbit Easy Open lid has the potential to be just as everyday life changing. The trouble is, I'm not sure that my wife needs me around the house anymore!"
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