In 2020, Kellogg became the first food company in the world to incorporate innovative accessibility technology on some of our cereal packaging in Europe. With the NaviLens optical smart code and app, blind and low-vision shoppers could not only find their favorite box of cereal, but they could also hear its name, size, and nutrition and allergen information. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to this pilot, we announced last year that the technology would expand to all of our cereal packaging across the continent.
This year, we hit another milestone in our drive to make our products accessible to more people: Kellogg became the first food company in the U.S. to introduce NaviLens technology on the packaging of some of our most iconic cereals. Today, you can find boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes™, Rice Krispies™, Special K Original™ and Crispix™ with the codes on shelves across the country.
On the surface, it might seem like a small and easy enough change to implement; just add a couple of codes to the boxes, set them up on the app, and we’re good to go, right?
It’s not quite that simple.
Over the course of more than a year, a dedicated and passionate cross-functional crew of Kellogg employees worked diligently to put all the pieces together and get the boxes from an idea to reality.
Below, six of these employees give us a behind-the-scenes look at the project and what it means to work to ensure that everyone gets a place at the table.
Beth Foor, Associate Manager, Corporate Affairs and National Co-Chair, Kapable (Kellogg’s business employee resource group for employees with disabilities and their allies)
As someone who is losing my vision to a progressive eye disease, this project is very personal to me. I was part of the original Kapable team that presented the idea of bringing NaviLens packaging to the U.S. to our cereal leadership team, and I’ve worked closely with the entire team throughout the process. I cried the first time I found our NaviLens packaging on the shelf at my local grocery store. It's amazing to work for a company that truly stands behind its Better Days Promise to advance sustainable and equitable access to food. I can't thank everyone enough for all their hard work and dedication to this project.
Kellogg's Beth Foor stands behind boxes of Kellogg cereals with NaviLens codes.
Megan Phelan, Director, Brand Design Operations
I held the role of project lead and guided the project’s various workstreams. This has been a very uplifting and inspiring initiative to be part of. I rarely have the opportunity to lead work that has such a positive impact on people, and it feels fantastic! I'm grateful to have the opportunity to work with this amazing team and support inclusivity for visually impaired shoppers.
Elton D'Silva, Application Developer Lead
I served as the IT delivery lead on this project and worked with various Kellogg partners, as well as NaviLens, to define the solution’s requirements. I feel great pride in having the opportunity to work on a project that has enhanced the accessibility and inclusivity of our product packaging.
Caitlin Fogarty, Senior Associate Brand Manager
I stepped in as the brand lead on the project and secured funding for NaviLens contractual obligations, and assisted with the artwork process and brand liaising, among other duties. Participating in this project makes me feel like I am a part of an incredible, cross-functional team that is helping Kellogg live our Better Days Promise values. I feel very fulfilled knowing that, together, this team is making an impact that has wide-reaching implications. The opportunity to work on projects like this was one of my very top reasons for joining Kellogg in the first place.
Traci Tooley, Wellbeing & Regulatory Business Partner
My role in the project was to provide guidance and feedback about how the NaviLens codes would impact our packaging from a wellbeing and regulatory standpoint. It feels good knowing I contributed to an important environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiative for Kellogg.
Benjamin Schorr, Associate Director, Philanthropy and Social Impact
I helped manage pack design in concert with Kapable and each brand lead, and helped manage through supply chain and promotional challenges. I also helped manage Kellogg’s relationship with the National Federation of the Blind, alongside Kapable, as we wanted to introduce this innovation first to the blind community at their annual convention. This is just a wonderful idea; accessible packaging is something all companies should do, and I am so proud to play a small part in ensuring access to food for millions who deserve it.