Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors towards Wine Purchases: Everyday and Special Occasion Wines (Part II)

By: Abby Miller

This is the second post where the focus is on comparing “everyday” and “special occasion” wine purchases. The emphasis will be on the preferred container composition and sweetness/dryness of the wines they purchase. For many consumers, they do not have a preference pertaining to bottle design or sweetness/dryness, but there is some variation that is noteworthy.

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The majority of consumers (50.4%) indicated that they do not tend to purchase wines that are sweeter or dryer for “everyday” consumption compared to those they purchase for “special occasions.” For those who do have a preference, 33.9% of participants tend to purchase wines that are sweeter for “everyday” consumption compared to those they purchase for “special occasions.”

Figure 1. Participant response pertaining to whether sweetness/dryness of wine purchased for everyday consumption differs from wine purchased for special occasions

Figure 1. Participant response pertaining to whether sweetness/dryness of wine purchased for everyday consumption differs from wine purchased for special occasions

It is evident, just by looking at the various types of wines stocked in liquor outlets that wine is just not restricted to being sold in 750 mL glass bottles. According to Mary Gorman, boxed wine (also known as cask wine) may be the new hipster fad due to its ease and convenience, shelf life, savings, and value. In 2011, 6% of all wine sold in the U.S. was not in glass containers. Also, sales of 3-Liter boxed wine have increased 16% in 2011 from 2010 sales (Tincknell, 2013). This and other container types may have a growing impact on wine purchasing and shift certain segments of consumers away from purchasing “traditional” bottles and instead selecting wine packed in “newer” containers.

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When participants were asked to compare their purchases of wine in 750 mL glass bottles with that or boxed wine, slightly more than half (55.8%) of survey participants exhibited no differences in container material for “everyday” wine verse wines purchased for “special occasions” (Figure 2).

Interestingly enough, a greater percentage of participants purchased wine sold in glass bottles for everyday consumption and boxed/cask wine for special occasions (26.9%). The percent difference between this group and those who exhibited the opposite behavior was 9.6%.

Figure 2. Difference in container preference for wine purchased for everyday consumption verse wine purchased for special occasions

Figure 2. Difference in container preference for wine purchased for everyday consumption verse wine purchased for special occasions

The last comparison in this post pertains to closure type differences between “everyday” wine and wine purchased for “special occasions.” As closure types include synthetic closures, screw caps, cork closures, and other options, we were interested in learning if closure type might differ based on occasion for which wine was purchased. Again, the majority of participants responded that there were no differences in closure type for the two different occasions (53.1%). Approximately a quarter of consumers did indicate that they purchased more wine with synthetic or screw cap closures for “everyday” consumption and wine with cork closures for “special occasions.”

Figure 3. Difference in closure type for wine purchased for everyday occasion compared to those purchased for special occasions

Figure 3. Difference in closure type for wine purchased for everyday occasion compared to those purchased for special occasions

Overall, the majority of consumers in the Mid-Atlantic did not have a preference for many of the attributes tested. However, as alternative packaging becomes more popular among Millennial wine consumers, those between the ages of 21 to 34, these container types may be of value, especially if they prove to be more than a fad…that will slowly fade away (Gordon, 2013).

References:
Gordon, Megan. “Is Boxed Wine the Next Hipster Fad?” The Kitchen. 28 February 2013. http://www.thekitchn.com/why-boxed-wine-is-making-a-comeback-184639

Ticknell, Paul & Jennifer. “The Changing Shape of Wine.” 1 February 2013. http://www.marketingwine.com/blog/index.php/2013/02/the-changing-shape-of-wine/

 

 

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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