Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors towards Wine Purchases: Consumption Patterns
By: Abby Miller
Sitting down after a long day at work and enjoying a refreshing glass of wine seems like the perfect end to a busy workday. Nearly a third (31%) of consumers (378 out of 1,183) who participated in our Internet survey indicated that their consumption of wine increased over the previous three years (Figure 1). The belief that a glass of wine a day benefits a wine consumer’s heart is one reason why participants increased their consumption. According to the Wine Institute website (www.wineinstitute.org), 856 gallons of wine were consumed in the United States in 2012, an increase from 836 million gallons consumed in 2011. It is likely that this trend will continue in 2014, and for years after.
In Figure 2 below, we state the reasons that influenced survey participants to increase their wine consumption between the years of 2010 and 2013. Half, 52.9%, of participants indicated that interest in drinking wine compared to other alcoholic beverages has influnced the increase in consumption. Other reasons for increased wine consumption included: learning more about wine (42.3%) and the noted health benefits associated with drinking wine (42.1%). Although only 3.2% of participants indicated that access to certified organic and sustainable wines was a contributing factor, in an article by Mike Geniella (2006), he states that growers in Mendocino County, California (home to more organic wineries than any other county in the nation), “turned to organic grape production as a means to carve out a niche in a fiercely compteitive global wine market.” These types of wines are not yet a significant part of the wines produced by wineries in the Mid-Atlantic region, but it is certainly something that could be a competitive advantage in the future.
Only 18% of participants responded that their consumption of wine decreased during this period of 2010 to 2013. Figure 3, below, indicates the top two reasons, according to the survey results, for the decrease. The first being the price of wine and the second that participants would rather spend their money on other things; responses do not add up to 100% as participants were asked to indicate all reasons which influenced the decrease in consumption. As mentioned in the previous post on the demographics, we can see that 13.1% of participants were concerned about having wine in their household due to underage children having access to the beverage. Although this is not a significant number, it may drive consumers away from purchasing wine to be stored in their home.
Figure 4 focuses on the specific occasions during which participants reported consuming wine. The top three occasions were: at a party or gathering with family/friends (74.9%), during meals (69.4%), and when dining at a restaurant (68.3%).
The occasion when people were less likely to consume wine was when they were at a sporting event or concert (11.6%). Anecdotal evidence suggest that other types of alcohol, such as beer and wine coolers, tend to be more readily available at sporting events. Overall, there is a wide variety of occasions where people consume wine, which holds great potential for wineries.
Stay tuned for our second post about consumption patterns and the comparison of men and women who drink wine! Which gender do you believe to be the leader in wine consumption?
Abigail Miller is a Master’s student at Penn State University, specializing in wine marketing. Her interests lie mainly within understanding the marketing and social media strategies appropriate for independent wineries, but she also enjoys learning about the production and wine making side of the business. Her hope is to one day become knowledgeable in all aspects of running a winery.
Research & Thesis Advisory Team:
- Dr. Kathleen Kelley, Professor, Horticultural Marketing and Business Management, The Pennsylvania State University
- Dr. Jeffrey Hyde, Professor, Agricultural Economics, The Pennsylvania State University
- Ms. Denise Gardner, Extension Enologist, Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University
- Dr. Brad Rickard, Assistant Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
- Dr. Ramu Govindasamy, Professor, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers University
- Dr. Karl Storchmann, Clinical Professor, Economics Department, New York University; Managing Editor, Journal of Wine Economics
- Dr. Rob Crassweller, Professor, Professor of Tree Fruit, The Pennsylvania State University
The project “Developing Wine Marketing Strategies for the Mid-Atlantic Region” (GRANT 11091317) is being funded by a USDA Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program grant, whose goal is “to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.” For more information about the program, visit http://www.ams.usda.gov.
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