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New cereal technology provides label and allergen information to blind shoppers

Kellogg’s plans to roll out cereal boxes with a code that provides playback labelling information to the smartphones of shoppers with sight loss

cereal in a bowl
Pixabay/Steve Buissinne

Kellogg’s has announced that it will roll out technology on its cereal boxes that enable shoppers with sight loss to access label and allergen information.

The development follows a successful Kellogg’s Coco Pops trial last year run in partnership with Co-op.

An evaluation of the pilot by Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) found that 97% of participants wanted to see more accessibility features on grocery packaging.

The cereal company will change all of its cereal packaging, beginning in 2022, with the first accessible boxes of Special K to reach shelves in January.

The technology, called NaviLens, includes contrasting coloured squares on a black background.

NaviLens enables smartphones to pick up the code from a distance of up to three metres. Users do not need to know where the code is located to scan it.

The shopper can choose to have ingredients, allergen and recycling information read aloud.

Head of Kellogg’s UK, Chris Silcock, emphasised that everybody should be able to access important and useful information about the food the company sells.

“We know it’s important that all packaging is accessible for the blind community to enable them to make shopping easier, so we will share our experience with other brands who want to learn more,” he said.

Marc Powell, from the RNIB, described the move as a “game changer” within the packaging world.

“Important information on packaging can often be in very small print, making it difficult or impossible for people with sight loss to read. Changes like this can provide blind and partially sighted people with vital information for the very first time, giving us the same freedom, independence and choice as sighted customers,” he said.