Why You Buy: Survey Results

So here’s what I wanted to know: What prompts you to buy a  wine you’ve never had before given only the information on the bottle?

The answer? In general, you told me that the producer and the varietal hold equal sway over your purchasing decisions. When asked "In general, and all else being equal, what is
the most important factor in your decision to buy a wine you’ve never
tried previously," 33% said producer and 31% said varietal.

The price of the wine, however, is an important factor in your decision making. When considering buying a wine that is $15 or less, upwards of 42% said Varietal is the most important factor in your buying decision.

Yet, once you start contemplating wines over $15 a bottle, everything changes. For wines costing $15 to $30 a bottle  52% of you said the producer is the most important factor. For wines over $30 per bottle fully 71% said the producer was the most important factor in your decision to buy a wine you’d never had.

My take on the seeming power of the producer to prompt purchases by Fermentation readers (who tend to be fairly savvy wine buyers) suggests a certain power in branding, in creating a bond between the market and the maker. It’s been suggested that brand loyalty is a think of the past. No.

I admit I was hoping that "Region" would be a more important factor to more of you. In fact, to telegraph that hope I did ask this question: "Are you willing to pay more for wines simply because they are from a particular region?" Sixty Six percent of you said, "yes."….Good for you!

Yet it appears there is little demographic difference between those who would pay more for wine based on the region it came from an those who would not. However, those who would pay more for wine based on region tend to describe themselves as having "expert" wine knowledge a twice the rate that those who won’t pay more.

This makes a lot of sense to me. Roger Dial, publisher of Appellation America, describes "region" as the most obvious element of wine for people to explore once they have investigated the varietal.

"After you taste taste and understand the 20 or 30 varietals that make up 99% of the wine, the next step up the educational ladder is region," says Dial. "You might want to explore all those producers that make merlot, but that’s an impossible process. It’s much easier to start to distinguish between merlots from Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Italy, Chile and Washington State."

You can look at the Results of the "Why You Buy" Fermentation Survey by clicking HERE

One Response

  1. Fredric Koeppel - September 18, 2006

    Interesting survey but the results are not too surprising. And I’m not sure if a brand and a producer are the same thing. “Yellow Tail” is a brand, “Santa Margarita Pinot Grigio” is a brand; Robert Stemmler, Chateau Ausone and Armand Rousseau are producers (I admit, those are extreme examples). Or maybe that’s being elitist. The interesting statistics are also a bit depressing: your responders are overwhelmingly male, not young, moderately well-off and drink a lot of wine. The question is, how to we get those 20 to 30-year-olds to drink more wine and pay more attention to it, even if they don’t want to spend too much money? (Not that everybody doesn’t like a bargain.)

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