Kellogg Company is changing the way the almost 12 million adults in the U.S. who are blind or have low vision* perform daily tasks, such as navigating a grocery store aisle or choosing one's cereal at breakfast. To help create a place at the table, Kellogg is incorporating innovative NaviLens technology into the packaging of four of its iconic cereal brands: Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Special K Original, Rice Krispies, and Crispix.
The front and side of these cereal boxes will now feature a NaviLens optical smart code comprising high-contrast colorful squares on a black background that can be detected and read by the NaviLens and NaviLens GO apps. With the apps, consumers can locate the boxes from several feet away, navigate to them, and hear their names, package sizes, and nutritional information. The apps can communicate this information in up to 36 languages.
|Packaging World covered the pilot program in the UK last year. Read the whole story here.|
Kellogg's Better Days Promise ESG strategy is the advancement of sustainable and equitable access to food. We work hard to think outside the box to ensure our products are accessible to as many people as possible,” says Charisse Hughes, chief brand and advanced analytics officer at the Kellogg Company. “Thanks to the hard work of our cross-functional teams, we're able to adapt and leverage this technology to ensure we're living by our purpose – to create a place at the table for everyone.”
Notably, Coca-Cola UK also has rolled out NaviLens codes across 24x330 mL and 30x330 mL packs of its Christmas can multipacks, which can be scanned from distances of up to 4 m to help blind and partially sighted consumers. Coca-Cola UK becomes first beverage brand to pilot Navilens technology for visually impaired.
Leading sight loss charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) joined forces with Coca-Cola Great Britain and NaviLens to make its packaging more accessible for people with sight loss for the first time.
Laura Moon, Senior Brand Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain, says: “As we continue to make our drinks available and accessible to everyone, we are extremely pleased to partner with RNIB to support blind and partially sighted people find out more information about Coca-Cola and the options available to them on shelf.”
This collaboration highlights how big brands can put accessibility at the forefront of design and packaging decisions and be a real catalyst for change.
The collaboration between RNIB and Coca-Cola Great Britain follows RNIB’s 2021 ‘What’s in Store’ campaign video, which raised awareness of how it feels to be confronted with inaccessible packaging – a problem invisible to most shoppers.
As part of the experiential event, a physical store was created and stocked with products with blank or intentionally vague packaging, while hidden cameras in the shop filmed people’s reactions. A shopkeeper then revealed that this is often the reality for people with sight loss when they are out shopping.
“Everyone has the right to know what they’re buying yet packaging information is so often inaccessible to blind and partially sighted people. We hear from people who tell us they often rely on their memory for locating products or feel forced to ask for help," Marc Powell, RNIB’s Accessibility Innovation Lead, says. “People with sight loss should have the same access and choice as our sighted counterparts, and technology such as NaviLens is a game changer, enabling greater independence.
“It’s been fantastic to team up with Coca-Cola, one of the world’s biggest brands, and see how they are championing the inclusion of accessibility as part of the conversation around how we can make the customer experience better for blind and partially sighted people.”
A commitment beyond packaging at Kellogg
In addition to the cereal packaging, Kellogg has committed to incorporating NaviLens codes in all corporate facilities in the U.S. by the end of 2023, to make them more accessible and easier to navigate for blind and low-vision employees. The company has already installed codes in its global corporate headquarters in Battle Creek, Mich.
This initiative was brought to life through a partnership between Kellogg's Ready-To-Eat-Cereal business unit and Kapable, the company's business employee resource group that ensures Kellogg is a welcoming and inclusive environment for current and future employees with disabilities and their supporters.
Bethany Foor, a member of Kellogg's Corporate Affairs team and a co-chair of Kapable, was instrumental in the development of the program. Foor has Usher syndrome—the leading cause of deaf-blindness.
“Despite my progressive loss in vision and hearing, I have managed to build a rich, fulfilling career at Kellogg. The company lives its mission, is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion,” Foor said. “I'm honored to be able to play a part in making some of Kellogg's most iconic products more accessible, and grateful for my colleagues and our leaders who are helping us create better days for the blind and those with vision loss.” PW