A vision for accessible packaging

By Pete Matthews, Director of Brand Design and Operations, Kellogg Europe


In so many ways, the escalating pace of technology is rapidly changing our lives. In Europe, it’s even helping Kellogg fulfill our purpose of “creating a place at the table for everyone.”

Pete Matthews with Coco the Monkey

Pete Matthews with Coco the Monkey

Recently, we started adding NaviLens codes to all our cereal packaging in Europe, and they’ve already started appearing in stores from Ireland to Italy. NaviLens is an innovative technology that helps blind and partially sighted people hear and read information like subway directions or museum guidance by simply pointing their smartphones at a code from as far away as 12 meters or almost 40 feet. We’re proud to say that Kellogg is the first company in the world to use the technology on product packaging.

NaviLens Technology on Packaging


This idea came about when a colleague from IT, Zuleikha Karolia, did some work with St. Vincent’s School for children with sensory impairments, who expressed frustration that our packaging was not accessible to them. Wanting to live our purpose of creating a place at the table for everyone, and embracing Kellogg Company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, our first thought was to find a way to include braille on our boxes. However, during early conversations with the U.K.’s Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), we learned that technology is fast replacing braille. At the time, RNIB was putting NaviLens in their offices and we quickly understood the opportunity it offered Kellogg to make our packaging more accessible to all.

Kellogg Coco Pops with NaviLens code technology

We started by testing NaviLens in the U.K. on Kellogg’s® Coco-Pops®. It had a really big impact and 100% positive feedback. For example, British Paralympian gold medalist Lora Fachi, a visually impaired cyclist who competes in tandem events, said, “The prospect of being able to shop by myself is such an incredible opportunity.”

Armed with this information, we decided that adding the NaviLens code to all our packaging was the right thing to do. While each code is unique and takes some time to set up, we created an automated way to keep this information current.

About nine years ago, Kellogg hired me to establish our European packaging and point-of-sale team. I started working as a copywriter in the video gaming industry before moving into packaging and brand design. This project touched on all the skills I’ve developed over my career, which is why I am especially proud of our team for making it a priority. Other packaged goods companies and retailers are now asking about our experience with NaviLens, so hopefully, its use will become more widespread.

The World Health Organization estimates that at least 2.2 billion people have some type of vision impairment, and these numbers will increase as we age.1 By advancing inclusive design and accessible packaging, we’re helping to meet society’s needs today and in the future.


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