Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors towards Wine Purchases: Everyday and Special Occasion Wines
By: Abby Miller
Prior to purchasing a bottle of wine, consumers consider the type of occasion during which the wine will be served. We asked the 1,183 consumers who resided in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania and who participated in a 15-minute Internet survey if there was a difference in the type of wine they purchased for everyday consumption verse those purchased for special occasions. Nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents said they do purchase different wines for each occasion.
When comparing the price paid (for a 750 mL bottle) for both occasions, as might be expected, consumers purchased more expensive bottles of wine for “special occasions.” Nearly a third of participants reported spending $8.00 to $10.99 on a 750 mL bottle of wine, with slightly fewer purchasing wine priced between $11.00 and $14.99, for “everyday” purposes (Table 1), whereas approximately 40% of participants indicated that they spent between $15.00 and $24.99 for “special occasion” wines.
To help readers understand the data presented in Table 1, first focus on the bolded percentages. No differences existed pertaining to the percent of particpants in each age range who purchased “everyday” wines priced between $8.00 and $10.99 per 750 mL bottle. Differences were apparent; however, for “everyday” wines priced between $11.00 and $14.99. For this price range, a greater percentage of participants age 21 to 44 years reported buying these wines compared to participants age 45 to 64 years.
Pertaining to “special occasion” wines, an equal percentage of participants in each age range reported purcahsing wines between $15.00 and $19.99 (between 19.7 and 22.8 percent) and $20.00 to $24.00 per bottle (between 16.9 to 22.2 percent).
The reasoning behind the difference in price paid for “everyday” and “special occasion” wines may be due to consumer willingness to spend more money on a 750 mL bottle of this beverage to share with guests when celebrating a special event, or to impress them. So, how do your wine prices compare? If your tasting room visitors seem to be expressing resistance towards your premium priced wine, consider suggesting situations, such as entertaining and celebrations, during which they can serve the wine. Product suggestions not only promote goods and services, but they also provide consumers with suggestions that meet a need.
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:
- Kathleen Kelley, Professor, Horticultural Marketing and Business Management, The Pennsylvania State University
- Jeffrey Hyde, Professor, Agricultural Economics, The Pennsylvania State University
- Denise Gardner, Extension Enologist, Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University
- Brad Rickard, Assistant Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
- Ramu Govindasamy, Professor, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers University
- Karl Storchmann, Clinical Professor, Economics Department, New York University; Managing Editor, Journal of Wine Economics
- 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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