Aunt Bessie’s partnered with the Royal National Institute of Blind People to introduce NaviLens technology on selected products such as Golden Yorkshires.
The accompanying smartphone app can be used in-stores to detect the unique code printed on the front of selected packs, and subsequently provide audio directions to the customer to locate the chosen product.
The flexible system can also be used to relay key nutritional values, ingredient lists and preparation instructions.
Marc Powell, RNIB accessibility innovation lead, explained: “Currently, important information on packaging can often be in very small print, making it difficult or impossible for people with sight loss to read. That is why RNIB is working with organisations to bring about a significant step-change in how brands can put accessibility at the forefront of design and packaging decisions, and be a catalyst for change.”
The intervention was driven by a joint survey which found that 85% of people with a visual impairment struggled to retrieve information from product packaging. Previously such consumers were left in the dark, with half of those questioned resorting to asking other customers for the required information.
As a consequence, two-thirds admitted to buying the wrong product in store with frozen food aisles proving to be particularly problematic, with pull-open doors and floor-level freezers further impeding access.
Brands such as Pantene have been focussing their efforts on the long ignored visually impaired market as a point of differentiation.