Fray Bentos Are Changing Their Tins Because Millenials Can’t Open Them
You can more or less get every foodstuff in a tin nowadays. You name it, and someone is sure to put it in a tin. Full English? Yup! Curry? Absolutely! Pies…of course! But it seems that some people are struggling to get through the metal surface and break into the precious goods.*
Frustrated fans of the iconic Fray Bentos’ pie have been complaining that the iconic ‘pies in a can’ are impossible to open.
To demonstrate this, they have even been posting videos of their struggles online.
The complaint is that the metal is too thick for a normal can opener to penetrate through and most can openers barely scrape the surface.*
Many people have lost knives and forks trying to access the meaty pies within, breaking them as they attempt to grab a quick dinner.
Some fed up customers have even said they resorted to using hammers, screwdrivers and chisels to get in.
It has been a long complaint amongst fans of the pies that getting the lid off can be hit and miss.
Videos on YouTube show these struggles. One YouTuber, Bill Kidgell, smashed a screwdriver onto the lid of the tin with a hammer in a bid to open it.
Another vlogger and pie fan uploaded a video of himself smashing the tin open with a big knife with the message: ‘Tin opener wouldn’t open so used the biggest chef’s knife I had and a hammer.’
Dean Elmes joked: ‘Get an angle grinder.’
And student blogger Pembo362 posted a video claiming: ‘This thing does not open.
‘It is official, after three years of having this pie under my bed in my emergency food box it’s going in the bin.’
After these videos started to gain popularity amongst people similarly stressed, Fray Bentos, which is owned by Baxters, attempted to address the problem by posting a message on its website advising shoppers: ‘Due to the nature of the product, we strongly advise our customers to use a robust can opener.’
The company even offered up a ling to a can opener it recommends, and it retails at £8.50. This is seven times the cost of the common metal tin openers and four times as much as a classic Fray Bentos steak and kidney pie which costs around £2.
This didn’t seem to appease unhappy fans of the pie and so now Fray Bentos has said that it is putting its iconic tin design under the microscope in a bid to ‘improve openability’.
A spokesperson for Baxters Food Group said: ‘Since Baxters Food Group acquired Fray Bentos six years ago, we have worked closely with Crown Packaging (the Fray Bentos pie can manufacturers) to improve the openability of the can without compromising the integrity or quality of the Fray Bentos product.
‘Based on consumer feedback the focus has been on improving the tin profile (ridges on the lid).
‘This enables the can opener to sit better on the rim, giving it more purchase to cut through the metal.
‘We have conducted a number of trials, and while we have managed a slight improvement, we have concluded that the cans require a robust ‘cut from the top’ opener rather than a ‘cut from the side’ opener.
‘Budget tin openers will not deliver consistent results.
‘Moving to a ring pull lid has been considered, however due to the surface area and force required to lift the lid, this may result in serious injury to the consumer.
‘This has been discounted as a potential solution.
‘Whilst we continue to review the design of our can, based on consumer feedback we would strongly advise our consumers to use a robust can opener.
‘The can opener tested and recommended to use is the Brabantia Essential Line Opener.
‘We are in the process of updating this on our packaging. ‘We have updated our website to reflect this recommendation.’
The steak and kidney pies first hit supermarket shelves in 1961. Since then, the popular pie range has expanded to include chicken pies, minced beef pies, chilli beef pie and a range of other options.
Outraged pie-lovers slammed Fray Bentos in January for apparently cutting the amount of meat in its tins.
The famous pies are named after the city of Fray Bentos in Uruguay which is famous for its beef.