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Segmentation and drivers of wine liking and consumption in US wine consumers

Authors Pickering GJ, Jain AK, Bezawada R

Received 11 July 2014

Accepted for publication 5 August 2014

Published 16 October 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 9—19


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Gary J Pickering,1–3 Arun K Jain,4 Ram Bezawada4

1Department of Biological Sciences, Brock University, St Catharines, ON, Canada; 2Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, Brock University, St Catharines, ON, Canada; 3Department of Psychology, Brock University, St Catharines, ON, Canada; 4School of Management, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA

Abstract: This study examined the influence of selected experiential (wine expertise), psychological (alcoholic beverage adventurousness), and biological (age, sex, 6-n-propylthiouracil [PROP] responsiveness) factors on self-reported liking and consumption of 14 wine styles in a sample of 1,010 US wine consumers. Cluster analysis of wine liking scores revealed three distinct groups, representing plausible market segments, namely red wine lovers, dry table wine likers and sweet dislikers, and sweet wine likers. These clusters differ in key demographic measures, including sex, age, household income, and education, as well as wine expertise and PROP responsiveness. Wines were collapsed into five categories (dry table, sparkling, fortified, sweet, and wine-based beverages) to examine more closely the factors affecting wine liking, total annual intake, and consumption frequency (analysis of variance [ANOVA] followed by Tukey's honest significant difference [HSD] 0.05). Wine expertise was most strongly associated with liking and consumption measures, while PROP responsiveness and alcoholic beverage adventurousness were also important contributors. Neither age nor sex had any large and consistent effects on liking or consumption, although the sex × expertise interaction was significant for some styles. These data provide an example of multifactorial segmentation of a wine market using Northeastern United States as an example, and indicate opportunities for targeted alignment of marketing to cohorts identified here.

Keywords: market segmentation, taste genetics, PROP, wine expertise, wine liking, adventurousness

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