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USA Mid-Atlantic Consumer Preferences for Front Label Attributes for Local Wine

Published: 23 April 2021
 by  MDPI AG
Beverages , Volume 7; doi:10.3390/beverages7020022

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to investigate Mid-Atlantic USA wine consumers’ preferences for front wine label attributes for a lesser-known/unknown local wine variety. The wine consumer base in this part of the USA exceeds that of California. Although the mid-Atlantic is experiencing an increase in the number of wineries, there is a lack of region-specific consumer research that could be the basis for marketing strategies that may differ from those in more established wine regions, such as CA. We recruited 1011 mid-Atlantic consumers who drank wine (at least 1×/month) to view variations of a wine label, differing in wine tag, location description, font types, and images in a choice-based conjoint experiment. A greater percentage of consumers selected the “White Wine” tag and scripted fonts than the other options, with a generalized county text (“Proudly produced in Lehigh County, PA”) being selected by more participants than the American Viticultural Area (AVA) (“Lehigh Valley AVA”) or state (“Pennsylvania”) texts; however, the location text had a lower importance than the wine tag variable. This study implies that a generalized county text that describes a more specific location where the grapes were grown may be more favorable to mid-Atlantic consumers in comparison to AVA or state texts, and that traditional images and generic wine labels are more preferable than wine labels they have not seen before and more contemporary label styles. Wineries in the mid-Atlantic region may want to add generalized county texts to their labels to appeal to the regional audience. As AVAs are used to promote specific wine regions in the USA, and only some consumers choose wines based on these designations, governments and marketing organizations may want to increase education on local AVAs to increase consumer awareness and interest. In addition, consumer differences in variety-seeking behavior and subjective as well as objective wine knowledge, but not attitudes toward locally produced foods, affected wine label choice: Consumers scoring higher in variety-seeking and wine knowledge preferred the specific wine varietal over the generic wine tag; similarly, consumers that indicated familiarity with the wine varietal also preferred the specific wine tag over the generic label. Differences in consumer psychographics appear to modulate front wine label preferences.
Keywords: Pennsylvania / psychographic / white wine / conjoint analysis / wine label / Vidal blanc / consumer categorization

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