The rollout, which will use “NaviLens” technology, is the first of its kind and speaks to the growing demand for inclusive design across all sectors, from packaging and products to physical and architectural spaces.
According to Kellogg’s Instagram post, the switch will begin next year and will be permanent in the region, allowing blind and partially-sighted people to shop with greater ease. Each box will feature a high-contrast “on-pack code” which will be detected via the NaviLens smartphone app. However, as The Independent explained, users will not need to locate the code on the box in order to use it—the app will simply be able to spot the code from up to three meters away.
Once detected, the shopper can have information about the product read aloud, including ingredients, possible allergens, and recycling information. Alternatively, the consumer can read that information on their phone, using accessibility features. Special K will be the first of the brand’s cereals to feature the new packages, with the others following close behind.
The rollout follows a successful trial period, launched in Fall 2020 in honor of World Sight Day. During the trial, nearly 60 locations of the UK-based grocery chain Co-op featured Coco Pops boxes equipped with NaviLens technology.
The technology, which is also implemented in public transportation systems across Madrid, Barcelona, and Murcia, Spain, signals the ever-present need for inclusive and accessible design in our built environment—a need that companies are slowly picking up on.
In June, for example, Packaging World reported that multinational giant Procter & Gamble is introducing new packaging to their Herbal Essences line—in the form of tactile notches on the bottles—in order to help people with low vision distinguish between shampoo and conditioner.
Meanwhile, in April, Unilever released a trial of a new, inclusive deodorant specifically designed for consumers with a range of disabilities, including vision loss and upper-limb impairment. According to Packaging Digest, the deodorant, known as Degree Inclusive, has a “a hooked design for one-hand use,” “magnetic closures,” and braille instructions, among other features.
The announcement by Kellogg’s comes just days after the company made headlines for its limited-edition, Pride-themed cereal. The campaign, launched in collaboration with GLAAD, led to the anti-LGBTQ American Family Association to call for a boycott of the company.