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NZ's The Cookie Project seeks to break down disability stigmas

The Cookie Project, a social enterprise based in New Zealand, has completed a New Zealand first with its first, real person traceable packaging utilising QR code technology.

The technology is designed to help break down social stigmas around disabilities but enabling consumers to be introduced to the baker who made their chosen product. In addition, the project seeks to help simplify different complexities around understanding disabilities.

The packaging, made from 100% sustainable recycled material, includes personalised stickers for each baker on the back of the product.

To engage, customers can scan a QR code via their smartphone to discover who made their cookies, leave a message of encouragement and or request the baker to make their next batch of biscuits.

The packaging also furthers the social enterprise’s goal of providing employment pathways for its staff, with potential employers able to use the linked profile page as a platform to offer opportunities directly to the baker, the company says.

The Cookie Project cofounder Eric Chuah says, knowing firsthand how complex understanding disabilities can be, he wanted to help educate the public by simplifying disabilities into four simple categories - sensory, physical, cognitive, and mental health.

Each of these categories is represented by a colour in the QR code, enabling the public to learn more about the different types of disabilities when they scan the sticker or visit The Cookie Projects website.

The Cookie Project cofounder Graeme Haddon says, “We believe two key steps in breaking down social stigma for the disabled community is awareness and education. By making disability easier to understand, we hope this is the first step towards inclusion.”

Chuah says, “Everything we do at The Cookie Project is human centred around our bakers. We wanted our packaging to be a platform where customers and potential employers can connect with our bakers.”

“Were proud to help drive this conversation and show New Zealand that people with any type of disability can contribute to society and should be treated equally as such,” he says.

Designed by digital marketing agency Quentosity, the new packaging is also a finalist in this years Best Awards.

Quentosity managing director Quentin Van Heerden says, “For us, we want to play our part in helping to tackle discrimination in our society against people with disabilities. And so the key focus for Quentosity Digital Marketing Agency is to combine great design, with a great product, and critically, to encourage people to buy the cookies.”

“We came up with a clean, attractive design, with emoji icons to embrace youth, whilst encompassing elegant, contemporary design elements,” he says.

Handmade on-demand in the Eat My Lunch kitchen, The Cookie Project uses ingredients from Kiwi partners Lewis Road Creamery, Trade Aid and Pics Peanut Butter to ensure its products have no preservatives, additives or colouring.

The Cookie Project products will be available in New World Metro on Queen Street and other selected Auckland stores from September onwards, and rolled out nationwide later in the year.