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EMAC 2022 Annual

Laser Marking as New Technology in Organic Labelling: Cognitive Dissonance as Hindrance of More Sustainable Consumption

Published: May 24, 2022


Olga Untilov, Audencia Business School; Jean Pfiffelmann, EM Strasbourg Business School


To distinguish organic from conventional food products, producers gradually replace plastic stickers and packaging with laser marking. While this labelling technique ensures less plastic use and a stronger ecological dimension of organic products, it also generates a cognitive dissonance. Understanding the source of the perceived incongruity and its effect on the attitude, well-being and purchase intention is the main objective of this paper. Qualitative data and quantitative data (N = 328) were analyzed through a multi-method approach, using simultaneously contextual text coding and partial least squares (PLS) path modeling. Our results show that persons that perceive laser marking as eco-friendly and innovative show more positive attitudes toward the product. On the other hand, persons that see the alternative marking as unsafe, register lower attitude scores. The attitude mediates the relation between the perceptions and the purchase intention and expected well-being.