Kellogg’s tests cereal boxes that assist visually impaired consumers

News > World

By STEM Caribbean | Posted on October 21, 2020

Image: Kellogg’s

To recognize World Sight Day this year, Kellogg’s launched a trial of Coco Pops boxes designed for visually impaired consumers. The company partnered with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to create the limited-edition boxes, which can be found in almost 60 Co-op stores across the UK.  

The boxes adapt NaviLens technology that allows smartphones to read unique codes on the boxes and relay labelling and allergen information to the user. The technology enables smartphones to detect the code up to three meters away when the shopper points their device in the cereal box’s direction. The shopper can then choose to have different product details, including ingredients, allergen, and recycling information, read aloud.    

This trial comes after research from the RNIB revealed that nine in ten blind and partially sighted people in the UK feel that food packaging information is difficult or impossible to read.   

NaviLens is currently used in the transport systems of New York City, Barcelona, Madrid, and Murcia city to help thousands of visually impaired travelers get around the cities more easily. The technology was introduced for the first time in the UK as part of the Kellogg’s trial. Also, it has never been used on food packaging before.   

Kellogg’s and the RNIB credit students of the St. Vincent’s School (a specialist school in the UK for sensory impairment and other needs) for helping design the unique boxes. The students had shared their ideas on what accessible packaging means for them.  

“We partnered with Kellogg’s UK & Ireland to launch Coco Pops boxes with NaviLens technology to make the information on the box accessible to blind and partially sighted people. However, this wouldn’t have happened without the creativity of the students at St Vincent’s school, who brought their initial ideas for accessible packaging to Kellogg’s, inspiring them to develop the boxes!” the RNIB expressed in a Facebook post.  

The breakfast cereal company hopes to equip more of its cereal boxes with this technology if the trial turns out to be a success.   

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