Wednesday 28 June 2017

Shortbread to come with Braille

Food manufacturers are being urged to follow the lead of a shortbread maker and put Braille on products to help blind people shop
Food manufacturers are being urged to follow the lead of a shortbread maker and put Braille on products to help blind people shop

A shortbread manufacturer is to make a range of products with Braille on the packaging.

Paterson Arran will put nutritional information and other details in Braille on its boxes of shortbread.

The company said it will be the first branded shortbread to feature the system, adding that it hopes Braille packaging will eventually be on all its new items.

Marketing manager Amy Coles said: "We are always looking for ways to satisfy customer demands and featuring Braille on our best-selling shortbread is a useful way of meeting the needs of blind and partially sighted consumers".

The Royal National Institute of Blind People welcomed the move, saying it will "improve the shopping experience for blind and partially sighted customers".

Fazilet Haidi, from the RNIB, said: "Going food shopping can be fraught with difficulties for blind and partially sighted consumers, from getting round the store to selecting and purchasing goods. RNIB welcomes the move from Paterson Arran to include Braille on food packaging, as blind and partially sighted consumers should be supported to shop independently.

"In fact, we believe that food manufacturers are missing a trick as anything that improves the labelling of food, in Braille or clear print, would benefit the UK's two million consumers living with serious sight loss. We hope that other food manufacturers follow suit."

The company started life as a husband and wife team selling home-baked oatcakes in the 1890s. It now produces a range of shortbread products under the Paterson's brand and Cafe Bronte and Bronte biscuits, as well as oatcakes and jams and chutneys under the Arran range.

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