Helping food service customers better access its 6lb (2.72kg) cans of boiled peanuts, a Southern delicacy that has been dubbed “the South’s favorite snack,” has been a long-standing priority for McCall Farms. Seeking an alternative to unreliable industrial can openers, McCall Farms turned to CROWN Food Packaging North America, a business unit of Crown Holdings Inc., to explore various packaging options. Crown worked closely with McCall Farms to develop a unique variation of its 603 diameter (153mm) easy-open end, eliminating the need for the can opener entirely. The large-diameter end, available exclusively from Crown, was added to the company’s global product portfolio with the acquisition of Mivisa Envases, SAU.

“This package size is popular with a variety of food service channels, including concession stands, commercial and non-commercial cafeterias and restaurants,” says Marion Swink, Co-President, McCall Farms. “Industrial can openers have traditionally been used as a work-around, but they are far from an ideal solution. Extreme wear and tear requires them to be regularly replaced and many models are manual and difficult to use. These challenges have had a direct impact on our ability to fully maximize the potential of our boiled peanuts in these channels. Crown’s Customer Technical Support team was there for us every step of the way, including being on-site for initial production runs, which made issue resolution quick and efficient.”

Woody Swink, senior vice president of sales and marketing, McCall Farms, adds, “The new easy-open end from Crown helps our customers significantly reduce the time needed to open the large cans while also increasing hygiene and safety at their prep stations. It’s a win all around.”

The production process for boiled peanuts is demanding, and calls for air to be removed from the peanuts as well as pressure cooking. Crown’s engineers collaborated with the McCall Farms manufacturing team to modify the end to make sure it would withstand these challenges.

Like all easy-open ends, the 603 diameter (153mm) end is removable in its entirety with a simple, fluid gesture and up to eight times less force needed than a manual commercial can opener. 

“We are pleased to have been able to help McCall Farms enhance the convenience of this popular product for the food service industry,” explains Hella Gourven, marketing manager, CROWN Food Packaging North America. “This convenience also extends to the manufacturers using the ends, since they can implement them without having to make changes to their production line. The ends are delivered to customers seamed to the can body, which means they simply need to seam the bottom end to the can using existing equipment once the product is filled.”