Kellogg’s trials cereal boxes designed for the blind that raises the bar for inclusive packaging

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

NaviLens-fitted Coco Pops boxes began rolling out in Co-ops across the UK on World Sight Day (8 September 2020). Pic: Kellogg's
NaviLens-fitted Coco Pops boxes began rolling out in Co-ops across the UK on World Sight Day (8 September 2020). Pic: Kellogg's

Related tags Kellogg's Coco pops Royal National Institute of Blind People NaviLens inclusivity Smart packaging

The cereal boxes feature a UK-first technology that a smartphone detects and reads aloud the labelling and allergen information to people with sight loss.

The first-of-its-kind packaging was created in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), following research that revealed that nine in 10 blind and partially sighted people feel the info on food packaging is difficult or impossible to read.

The breakfast cereal giant is rolling out boxes of Kellogg’s Coco Pops in almost 60 Co-op stores across the UK that have been fitted with a technology called NaviLens.

NaviLens is a printed code – similar to a QR code, but in high-contrasting coloured squares on a black background – that is detected by a smartphone camera from up to 12 metres away when pointed in the general direction of the cereal box, rather than the exact position.

As users sweep the environment with a smartphone, audio cues allow them to find and centre the tag in the phone’s field of view. A shake of the wrist prompts a phone app to read aloud the ingredients, allergen and recycling information on the box. Shoppers also have the choice to read the info on the phone using accessibility tools.

A UK food packaging first

This is the first time NaviLens has been used on food packaging or in the UK. The technology is currently used across Barcelona, Madrid, and Murcia city’s transport systems, making the cities easier to navigate for thousands of visually impaired citizens.

If successful, the breakfast cereal giant hopes to adapt more of its cereal boxes to include this technology.

The limited edition Coco Pops cereal boxes are also embossed with braille and the on-pack information is in a larger font size.

“Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss and are unable to simply read the information on our cereal boxes. That’s why we partnered with RNIB to trial special boxes of Coco Pops with NaviLens technology – a first for food packaging,”​ said Chris Silcock, Kellogg’s MD.

Marc Powell, strategic accessibility lead at RNIB, added, “Important information on packaging can often be in very small print, making it difficult for blind and partially sighted people to read,”

“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.”

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