The rhetoric of organic food packaging

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Advisor: Margaret M. Strain


Organic food products are grown or created without the use of chemicals, and their producers engage in sustainable resource management. To recoup the increased cost of alternate production methods, organic food products are significantly more expensive than conventional items. Through a generic analysis of 26 organic and conventional products, I demonstrate that organic food producers employ unique marketing strategies that constitute a genre of food product packaging. Organic food producers use an array of visual and verbal rhetorical strategies to make ethical, logical, and pathetic appeals to persuade the consumer to purchase their products, and through a critical rhetorical analysis of two representative organic products, I explicate how these strategies work. Such rhetorical moves may be responsible for the so-called health halos" that result from organic labeling and consumer misconceptions about what the term organic truly means."


Natural foods Marketing Case studies, Farm produce Marketing Case studies, Product differentiation, Organic food; product packaging; generic analysis; rhetorical analysis; health halos

Rights Statement

Copyright 2012, author