Kellogg’s aids visually impaired consumers with smartphone playback cereal boxes
12 Oct 2020 --- Kellogg’s is partnering with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Co-op supermarket to launch a trial of cereal boxes featuring UK-first technology for blind and partially sighted people. The cereal boxes allow a smartphone to detect and playback labeling and allergen information to the user.
Kellogg’s introduced the technology on Coco Pops boxes in almost 60 Co-op stores across the UK to mark World Sight Day.
The trial comes after research from RNIB revealed 9 in 10 blind and partially sighted people feel that information on food packaging is difficult or impossible to read.
The new technology, called NaviLens, can be used in-store and at home. NaviLens allows smartphones to pick up an on-pack code from up to three meters when a blind or partially sighted shopper points their device in the direction of the cereal box.
On-pack code detection then alerts the smartphone. The shopper can choose to have the ingredients, allergen and recycling information read aloud to them, or read it on their device using accessibility tools.
The limited-edition World Sight Day Coco Pops cereal boxes are also embossed with Braille and the on-pack information is in larger font size.
A food packaging first
The technology is used across Barcelona, Madrid, and Murcia city’s transport systems, making the cities easier to navigate for visually impaired citizens. It has now been introduced in the UK for the first time as part of Kellogg’s trial. It is also the first time NaviLens has been used on food packaging.
If successful, the business hopes to adapt more of its cereal boxes to include this technology. “Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss and are unable to simply read the information on our cereal boxes,” says Chris Silcock, Kellogg’s managing director.
“That’s why we partnered with RNIB to trial special boxes of Coco Pops with NaviLens technology – a first for food packaging. If the trial is a success, we would hope that it could appear on more of our cereal boxes for visually impaired shoppers to access.”
“Important information on packaging can often be in very small print, making it difficult for blind and partially sighted people to read,” adds Marc Powell, strategic accessibility lead at RNIB.
“This can make shopping a real challenge, especially for those with specific dietary requirements – as they can’t see the all-important nutritional information.”
“This trial with Kellogg’s using NaviLens technology has raised the bar in inclusive and accessible packaging design – allowing people with low or no vision to locate a product on the shelf and access all information about it completely independently for the very first time.”
“Co-op has long been committed to finding ways to provide greater access for blind or partially sighted customers and nearly 20 years ago we pioneered Braille on packaging, which is now included across hundreds of our own-brand products,” notes Ali Jones, Co-op’s customer director.
“We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Kellogg’s as they now trial NaviLens for a new generation of customers.”
In August 2019, Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats partnered with Autism Speaks to create sensory “Love Notes” for children with autism to “express and receive love in their own unique way” during the school day.
The Love Notes come in a pack with four heart-shaped stickers to match the space on Rice Krispies Treats writable wrappers. The sensory stickers feature soft, smooth and bumpy textures – including fleece, faux fur, satin and velour – designed for children with autism who respond positively to tactile experiences.
In July, Germany-based Faller Packaging assisted start-up iuvas with the packaging design of its new sippa drinking aid for elderly and physically disabled people. Providing comfortable and safe help for those requiring drinking assistance, the sippa cup consists of many different components that have to be combined and inserted into one package.
Last month, Kellogg’s iconic potato chips brand Pringles began trialing a new recyclable paper can in partnership with supermarket giant Tesco. The move comes after sustained UK Recycling Association pressure to reinvent the “recycler’s nightmare” packaging, which consists of a complex construction of foil-lined cardboard sleeve, plastic cap, metal base, and metal tear-off lid.
Edited by Joshua Poole
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