The first tab to stay on the aluminum can

An SIR Case Study | Back to OUR WORK

Stay-On Tab.jpg

SIR Client: Reynolds Metals

Challenge: In the 1970s, Reynolds Metals (now part of Alcoa) was looking for a new, safer way to open aluminum cans than “pull tabs.” These were rings that conveniently came off the can completely — but also sliced open bare toes and wreaked havoc on wildlife. With 100 million rings filling beaches each year, health and environmental organizations and regulators looked to Reynolds for a solution. SIR’s product development research helped Reynold’s answer the challenge.

Action: SIR tested the viability of a clever Reynolds invention: the “stay-on” tab. This revolutionary concept worked in the engineering lab. But would real consumers embrace it? We held focus groups at malls and elsewhere to identify consumer barriers to acceptance, concerns, reactions, design understanding, and ease of use. Reynolds then refined its prototype using SIR findings on the design with maximum consumer appeal and usability. 

Results: Reynolds’ stay-on tab became the industry standard — and made the world a better place for regulators, beach-goers, beverage-drinkers, and millions of winged animals.

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