Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Consumers Have a Slight Preference for "Sustainably Produced" Wines But Many Think Sustainable Means Organic

Results of a 2015 consumer survey unveiled today at the Oregon Vineyard Services' annual grower event say that slightly more than half of consumers surveyed have a preference, all other factors being equal, for "certified sustainably" grown wines, a category that includes organically grown wines.

However, how a wine was grown ranked low on the list of influences, well below other factors.

Surprisingly, the survey showed that scores were not the important thing in determining a consumer's interest in buying a wine that cost more than $20.

Being familiar with the producer and the wine region were the most important factors, as the chart above shows.

Asked about choosing wines of similar price and quality, 55 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to buy a wine that was certified as "sustainably produced" (this could include organically grown) while 44 percent said it would not make a difference in their purchasing decision.

The survey was based on a 2015 consumer survey conducted by Wine Opinions.

Meanwhile, the Sonoma County Winegrowers released a new 2016 survey this week, saying that 66% of more high value consumers say they prefer "certified sustainable" wines - and are even willing to spend an average of $7 more for a bottle of "certified sustainable" premium wine.

You can read more coverage in the North Bay Times.


The presentation from the Oregon Vineyard Services grower event shows the gap between consumers and the industry over what "sustainable" means.

According to the survey data quoted in the OVS presentation, 43 percent of consumers (mistakenly) believe that sustainable means being organic. 

Clearly there is a lot of education to be done. How responsibly will the industry-funded, "certified sustainable"movement educate consumers on the different standards and their use of pesticides?

Consumers clearly think there's no pesticides used in growing that bottle of wine and may be upset when they find out, over time, that that's not the case.

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