The Aunt Bessie’s frozen food brand has introduced NaviLens technology to the packaging of two of its biggest selling products in the United Kingdom, as it partners with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to support partially sighted shoppers. Initially appearing on Aunt Bessie’s 10 Glorious Golden Yorkshires (190g) and Crispy & Fluffy Roasties (1.3kg), the technology uses tags, accessed through an app which provides audible product information and navigation, to assist visually impaired customers.
With nearly two million people in Britain living with sight loss, and less than 10% of blind and partially sighted people able to read braille, the Nomad Foods unit 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 home kitchens. The tags used can be read by devices, such as smart phones, up to 12 times further away than QR codes and with no focus required, eliminating the need for shoppers to know the exact location of the code and helping them locate products in store and in home freezers. Additionally, information on the ingredients, preparation instructions and recycling can all be heard aloud through the shopper’s mobile device.
“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 labeling on food packaging or finding specific foods in supermarkets,” said Lauren Ward, brand manager at Aunt Bessie’s. “We’re delighted to be trialling such an impactful tool on our packaging as we continue to provide a helping hand to those who live with sight loss and strive to make mealtimes as accessible as possible.
Marc Powell of RNIB commented: “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. This is why we are working with organizations 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 is a continuation of the brand’s above-the-line campaign entitled “Caring Is the Hardest Thing We Do,” which launched in 2020 and is 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 television advertising sees a blind actress take on the role of Nana June and cook a weekly roast for her loved ones. Beyond TV, Aunt Bessie’s continues to support Guide Dogs for the Blind and earlier in year launched the first ever Yorkshire Pudding Dog Bed with all proceeds going to the charity.