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29 Sep 2022

Aunt Bessie's trials new packaging for visually impaired shoppers

Aunt Bessie's trials new packaging for visually impaired shoppers

In a first within the Frozen category, Aunt Bessie’s has introduced NaviLens technology to the packaging of two of its biggest selling SKUs, as it partners with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to support visually impaired shoppers.

Initially appearing on Aunt Bessie’s 10 Glorious Golden Yorkshires and Crispy & Fluffy Roasties, NaviLens technology uses tags, accessed through an app which provides audible product information and navigation, to assist the visually impaired and make packaging more inclusive.

With nearly two million people in the UK living with sight loss and less than 10 per cent of blind and partially sighted people able to read braille, Aunt Bessie’s has taken the lead within the frozen category to offer a solution to help give control back to this community both in stores and in their kitchens.

The tags used in the NaviLens technology can be read by devices, such as smart phones, up to 12x further away than QR codes and with no focus required, eliminating the need for a shopper to know the exact location of the code and helping them locate their favourite frozen items in store and in their own freezer. Additionally, information on the ingredients, preparation instructions and recycling information can all be heard aloud through the shopper’s mobile device.

Lauren Ward, Brand Manager at Aunt Bessie’s, commented: “Every six minutes someone in the UK begins to lose their sight and ultimately their ability to easily complete tasks that many might take for granted, such as reading the labelling on food packaging or finding specific foods in supermarkets.”

“We know from the survey we conducted with RNIB that the majority of respondents (96%) say it would be useful to have NaviLens technology on frozen food packaging so we’re delighted to be launching such an impactful tool on two of our most loved products as we continue to strive to make mealtimes as accessible as possible.”

Marc Powell, RNIB Accessibility Innovation Lead, added: “Blind and partially sighted people should have the same freedom, independence and choice as sighted customers. 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. We are delighted that Aunt Bessie’s are the first frozen food brand to sign up to using NaviLens technology on their packaging.”

Aunt Bessie’s’ collaboration with RNIB and NaviLens forms a natural continuation of the brand’s above-the-line campaign, “Caring Is the Hardest Thing We Do”, which launched in 2020, inspired by the roast dinner’s spirit of bringing families together. Demonstrating the compassionate nature of the brand and its drive to ensure that the homely feeling of a roast dinner can be achieved by all, the TV advertising sees a blind actress take on the role of Nana June and cook a weekly roast for her loved ones.

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