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Wine Market Council Releases Results of "Green" Study Highlighting U.S. Wine Consumer Attitudes Toward Organic, Sustainable and Biodynamic Production

Survey finds consumer willingness to spend slightly more for wine made of organically grown grapes and sustainably and biodynamically produced wines, as well as other key data
by Press Release
April 19, 2018

Yountville, CA, April 19, 2018 – Wine Market Council today released key findings from their recent research survey titled, “Green Wine Study: U.S. Wine Consumer Attitudes Toward Organic, Sustainable, and Biodynamic Production.” The research survey looks into wine consumers' understanding, perception and reaction to various green designations for wine production.

“We uncovered a lot of very insightful data that shows the perceived benefits these ‘green’ wines have to consumers and how relevant these benefits are to the buying decision,” said Steve Burns, President of Wine Market Council. “These findings will help our members make key business decisions in the years ahead.”

For the study, Wine Market Council surveyed 1,159 primarily high frequency wine drinkers (those who consume wine more often than once a week). Focused specifically on how consumers identify and understand the various production methods, they inquired about the apparent benefits to consumers and how relevant green methods are to pricing and buying decisions. The complete report is now available to Wine Market Council members and will be discussed at the association’s upcoming Annual Membership Meeting taking place May 11, 2018, at The CIA at Copia in Napa.

The association shared a few highlights including:

  • Consumers are more confident that they understand what "made from organic grapes" means than what "sustainable" or "biodynamic" mean. There was a strong correlation between confidence of understanding and interest in these wines.
  • Sustainable and biodynamic wines are significantly more often associated with external environmental impact (water and CO2 issues) than organic wine and wine made from organic grapes, which in turn are more often associated with input issues (no SO2, no synthetic pesticides/fertilizers, non-GMO).
  • There was little difference perceived between "organic wine" and "wine made from organic grapes," but substantial differences between those wines and biodynamic and sustainable production.
  • The data indicates a willingness to spend slightly more for wine made from organically grown grapes than from conventional grapes, and slightly more still for sustainably/biodynamical produced wines than wine made from organically grown grapes.

The study also dove deeper into consumer habits through a 3-day online discussion with 11 selected high frequency wine drinkers. Among the highlights:

  • A commitment to organic food doesn’t directly translate into a similar commitment to "organic" wine. Other decision-making factors supersede how the wine was produced.
  • Barriers to purchasing wine made using these production methods include: perceptions that they cost more, not liking one they had tried, skepticism about there being standards behind the designations, availability, visibility, and a lack of awareness.
  • The willingness to pay more for these wines is dependent on occasion, previous trial, or recommendation.
  • These designations could be a tipping point for decisions to purchase a wine among those who see green production as a positive.

Wine Market Council provides its proprietary research to association members only. Upcoming research projects include a robust retail wine study to be released this summer. Membership dues are based upon different criteria that are dependent upon member association with the wine industry. You can inquire about membership at the Wine Market Council website WineMarketCouncil.com or email Wine Market Council at SBurns@WineMarketCouncil.com. Media questions and requests should be sent to contact@teplinnuss.com.

Wine Market Council is hosting their Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, May 11, 2018, from 9:00am to 12:00pm at The CIA at Copia (500 First Street, Napa, California). This year’s meeting kicks off with V.I.P. keynoter, Christian Navarro, president and co-owner of Wally’s Wine & Spirits and Wally’s Beverly Hills. For more details and to register for this meeting, click on this link: https://wmcmembershipmeeting.eventbrite.com.

About Wine Market Council Research
Wine Market Council conducts research on the attitudes and behaviors of U.S. wine consumers, measuring and exploring industry trends from the consumer perspective. It also provides national wine consumption benchmarks by various segments of the population. The council’s research does not track individual brands or companies, nor does it measure sales in the wholesale or retail tier or direct to consumer sector, nor does it score wines in any way.

About Wine Market Council
Wine Market Council was established in 1994 as a non-profit (501c6) trade association whose mission is to grow and strengthen the wine market in the U.S. on behalf of all segments of the industry by providing ongoing U.S. wine market research. More information can be found at WineMarketCouncil.com.

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