The company will convert all cereal packaging from 2022 onwards; The first special, snag-free K chests will hit shelves in January. The idea arose when Kellogg met children from St. Vincent’s in 2019, a private school in Liverpool for children with sensory disabilities. It was the students’ insights that inspired the company to look for solutions. Kellogg hopes that by sharing experiences with other brands, there will be an opportunity to make supermarket shelves more accessible to people with visual impairments so they can shop more independently and get information about different types of packaging. The announcement follows a successful trial in the UK carried out last year in collaboration with Co-op on packaged Coco Pops from Kellogg.
An evaluation of the pilot project conducted by the Royal National Trust for the Blind (RNIB) found that 97% of respondents agreed that they would like to see more of these accessibility features on food packaging in the future. Unlike other types of printed symbols, the new technology, called NaviLens, contains high-contrast colored squares on a black background. Users do not need to know exactly where the code is in order to scan it.
Smartphones can recognize the symbol on the packaging from a distance of up to three meters if a blind or visually impaired buyer points their device at the cereal box. The smartphone is then activated and the buyer can read the information about ingredients, allergens and recycling – or read it using the tools on their device. This technology is currently used in the transportation systems of the cities of Barcelona, Madrid and Murcia, making it easier for thousands of visually impaired citizens to move around in cities. Chris Silcock, Head of Kellogg UK said: “More than two million people in the UK have visual impairments and cannot easily read the information on our cereal boxes. As a company focused on equality, diversity and inclusion, we believe that everyone should be able to Get important and useful information about the food we sell.
“That’s why we will be equipping all of our cereal boxes with new technology starting next year. I am proud that Kellogg will be the first company in the world to use NaviLens on packaging. We know how important it is to have packaging accessible to everyone who is blind to make it easier to shop, and we will share our experience with other brands that would like to learn more.”
Javier Beta, CEO of NaviLens, the startup that developed the technology, commented, “The inclusion of NaviLens codes in food packaging is a positive step towards a more inclusive and accessible shopping experience for the visually impaired to shop more independently and make special food choices.”
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