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EMAC 2022 Annual

The Effect of Sustainable Packaging Communication on Perceived Brand Ethicality

Published: May 24, 2022


Christina Nguyen, Oxford Brookes University; Maheshan De Silva Kanakaratne, Oxford Brookes University


This paper examines if sustainable packaging cues; material and ecolabel; can trigger perceived brand ethicality using a 2x2 experiment on breakfast cereal brands in Germany. Material was found to be a significant predictor for (1) perceived sustainability and (2) perceived brand ethicality. The second interaction was moderated by average and high environmental concern and, contrary to prior research, mediated by perceived packaging attractiveness. Ecolabel had a smaller impact on perceived sustainability and none on perceived brand ethicality. Extending prior research, demographics and social desirability bias were included as covariates. The findings contribute to the limited research on sustainable packaging cue effects and the discourse of multiple cue combination.