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Kellogg integrates the world's first technology for the visually impaired into cereal packaging

The system is based on a code that reproduces product information in audio form

Kellogg Europe today announces the launch of a pan-European project that will make all of the company's cereal packs more accessible to the blind and visually impaired by the end of 2022, thanks to the integration of NaviLens technology, the first in the world to be developed for people with visual impairments. The project, which started last October with a pilot test in the UK that obtained a 97% approval rate from interested parties, is ready to reach supermarket shelves throughout Europe as early as January 2022 with parcels of Special K, to become an integral part of all Kellogg cereal packs by the end of 2022. Kellogg thus becomes the first food company in the world to integrate on-pack technology for the blind and visually impaired.

NaviLens technology is based on the scanning, through your smartphone, of a special code integrated into the design of the product packaging: in this way, information on the ingredients, allergens and recycling information of each specific product is made accessible, in audio form. Information often not accessible to people with visual impairments. Unlike other technologies on the market (QR code or barcode), NaviLens technology is made with high contrast colors for identification even by the visually impaired and can be framed at a distance twelve times greater than that of the alternatives (up to up to three meters away). Furthermore, the consumer does not need to know exactly where the code is on the package because the technology works even without a “in focus” shot.

In Italy, according to an INPS survey of 2019, there are over 122,000 people who are partially or totally blind. This packaging innovation is part of Kellogg's commitment to diversity and inclusion, and also wants to be a first experience to share with other brands to make supermarket shelves more accessible for people with visual impairments, so that they can shop more independently and access information on a growing range of products and packaging. “The integration of our technology into Kellogg cereal packaging is an important step towards creating a more inclusive shopping experience for people with visual impairments, helping them to become more independent and autonomous in their choice of products as well", comments Javier. Pita, CEO of NaviLens.

"In Italy, as in the rest of Europe, blind and visually impaired people are not yet autonomous in shopping or in having access to fundamental information on products, such as those relating to shelf life or allergens", explains Mario Barbuto, president of the Italian union for the blind and visually impaired. "For this reason, Kellogg's initiative represents a very important step, since for the first time it contributes to improving not only the shopping experience, but also the management of products at home. This is a change that, if adopted on a large scale, could truly restore blind customers the same freedom, autonomy and independence that sighted customers have. Designing packaging to 'work for everyone' is a fundamental commitment if we are to build a more inclusive society, and we hope other brands will follow Kellogg's lead in making packaging information more accessible”.

“In line with the values of our founder WK Kellogg, our commitment continues to help create a society guided by the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. In Europe, there are over 30 million people living with visual impairments, whose shopping experience can be enhanced by solutions such as NaviLens. I am extremely proud that Kellogg is the first food company in the world to use this technology”. concludes Giuseppe Riccardi, General Manager of Kellogg Italia.

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EFA News - European Food Agency