Wine Consumer Behavior Among Younger Generations


One of the most reliable and widely accepted methods for an organization to improve its business performance and results and to attain a competitive advantage that sets it apart from its rivals is through the effective and appropriate understanding of its consumers. The efficient and adequate understanding of the needs and wants of the consumers can not only enable the organization to study and analyze the factors that influence and affect the decision making patterns of the customers, but also empower the company to adapt its marketing and branding strategies in order to effectively connect with the desires and requirements of the consumers and maximize sales and profitability.

The paper aims to examine and analyze some of the literature and credible academic sources available that are concerned with the topic of studying the patterns and influences of consumer behavior for wine purchasing. A total of 10 different sources have been examined and reviewed for the paper, out of which four sources have been selected that closely relate to the wine consumer behavior and examine the purchasing patterns in different yet significant aspects. The selected papers look at how the consumer involvement levels influence the wine purchase decisions, the factors, and motivations that impact purchase patterns of consumers when buying online, the effects of gender differences on wine purchase decisions, and, lastly, the purchasing behaviors among Generation Y and younger consumers. These sources have been used to study and analyze the different factors influencing the process of decision making for wine consumers and to present insightful and meaningful findings and outcomes for potential future research.


“Hollebeek, L. D., Jaeger, S. R., Brodie, R. J., & Balemi, A. (2007). The influence of involvement on purchase intention for new world wine. Food Quality and Preference, 18(8), 1033–1049.”

This paper is a peer reviewed academic journal article which was published in the Food Quality and Preference journal in the year 2007. The paper aimed to study and analyze the way in which the involvement levels of wine consumers influence and impact how they utilize different cues in order to make purchase decisions. The research was conducted by administrating a conjoint analysis of 187 regular wine consumers. The paper observed three critical variables that affect the purchasing behaviors of wine consumers, namely the price levels, the presence or absence of information regarding the origin of the product, and the availability of a price discount on the product. One of the key findings of this paper was that consumers that were placed higher on the product involvement spectrum were influenced more by the availability of information of the region of origin of the wine, and gave less importance to the price of the product. However, the consumers with low product involvement placed significant emphasis on the price discounts on the product. These outcomes indicate that an increased focus on regional brand equity for wine marketing can enable the company to attract customers who are characterized as being highly involved in purchase decision making.

“Bruwer, J., & Wood, G. (2005). The Australian online wine-buying consumer: Motivational and behavioural perspectives. Journal of Wine Research, 16(3), 193–211.”

This is a peer reviewed academic journal article published in the Journal of Wine Research in the year 2005. The paper looks at the dynamic growth and influence of internet and online shopping and examines the motivations and factors that affect the purchasing decisions of consumers who prefer to make their wine purchases from online websites and other similar platforms. The paper obtained meaningful results and information regarding the motivational and behavioral factors influencing online wine consumers through administering a primary field survey research that incorporated a total of 1377 individual buyers. The research was aimed at studying and analyzing key variables of demographic, educational, and economic backgrounds of the consumers who preferred the online medium of wine purchase, past purchasing patterns of such consumers, ease of site navigation and functionality, and security and other factors associated with online shopping. Some of the significant findings of the research were that the majority of the online wine purchasers belonged to the age group of 35 to 44 years old and were predominantly male. Such consumers were mostly well-educated and financially secure. Convenience, availability of more information regarding the product, and increased discounts were found to be the most significant factors for online wine buyers. However, credit card security, fraud, complex website navigation, and inability to taste the wine were found to be the factors that inhibit online wine purchasing. These findings are fundamental to wine companies that utilize the internet for their business as online purchasing constitutes approximately “5% of the wine market in developed countries”.

“Atkin, T., Nowak, L., & Garcia, R. (2007). Women wine consumers: Information search and retailing implications. International Journal of Wine Business Research, 19(4), 327–339.”

This paper is a peer reviewed article that was published in the year 2007 in the International Journal of Wine Business Research. The paper studies and examines the extent to which gender differences impact and influence the process of information search regarding the product, the factors that affect the selection criteria, and, ultimately the wine purchase decision. The research was conducted through an online questionnaire that was completed by a total of 1374 individual consumers, out of which 88% were those who drank wine once per week. Out of these 1374 wine consumers, 877 were female, and 497 were male purchasers. The findings of this research paper indicate that female wine buyers are willing to utilize additional sources of information regarding the product before making a purchase decision as compared to their male counterparts. The paper found that the women wine purchasers are more likely to seek additional information from the store personnel and rely on brand awards and medals in case they are unsure about the purchase decision. The findings and outcomes of this research paper are substantial to the wine companies, and retailers as more than 80 percent of wine buyers in the USA are women. Such insights enable the wine companies and retailers to understand the attitudes and behaviors of wine buyers effectively and adapt their strategies to maximize their sales. These gender differences in wine purchase and consumption were further backed up by the work of Bruwer, Saliba, & Miller, (2011), who found similar differences between male and female wine consumers in their research.

“Ritchie, C. (2011). Young adult interaction with wine in the UK. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 23(1), 99–114.”

This paper is a peer-reviewed journal and was published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management in 2011. The paper is aimed at studying and analyzing the manner in which the younger generations interact with the wine and the factors and motivations that influence the wine purchase decision making of such consumers. The paper looks at how these young consumers purchase, use and perceive wine in different settings and scenarios. The research for the paper was carried out through focus group discussions that involved participants who belonged to the age group of 18 to 30 years and were occasional or regular consumers of wine. The paper found that the younger generation consumed wine mostly in groups as they perceived that a bottle is too big for an individual to drink alone. The findings also indicate that the young adults did not think of wine as a cultured beverage to be consumed with food, but instead regarded wine for heavy drinking occasions. Such consumption and behavior patterns amongst the younger generations set it apart from the older generation. The research holds significant importance for the wine industry as it highlights the consumption and purchase patterns and behaviors in the next generation of wine consumers.



Much literature has been published as a result of the research carried out in order to understand the various factors and influences that impact the decision-making process of wine purchasers over the years. Lockshin & Corsi, (2012) argued that much of the research had been conducted with a sole focus on the application and execution of paradigms and concepts developed in various sectors of marketing to the wine industry. Such an approach has, to an extent, helped in analyzing and understanding the manner in which customers buy wine, the reasons and factors working behind such purchase decisions, and the way in which they like to consume wine. It has resulted in the creation of repeatable and undisputed evidence that points to the primary drivers behind the purchase decisions of wine buyers.

Similarly, Nazan Gunay & Baker (2011) claimed that the primary factors that influence the decision-making procedures and behaviors of wine purchasers and consumers revolve around the aspects of cultural and traditional associations, social, economic, and demographic backgrounds and consumer attitudes, behaviors and consumption habits. The region and the country of origin of the wine are also significant factors that influence the purchase decisions of consumers with higher involvement, as evidenced in the works of McCutcheon, Bruwer, & Li, (2009) and Perrouty, d’Hauteville, & Lockshin, (2006). Riviezzo & Nisco (2011) developed a market segmentation approach in order to effectively examine and understand the extent to which such factors influence and impact the wine purchase and consumption behaviors and attitudes of customers. Their research identified four significant segments of wine consumers, each of which had their characteristics and motivations that influenced wine purchases and consumption. Such segments included the Home Hedonists, the Image Oriented Drinkers, the Eclectic Consumers, and the Conservative Consumers.

A substantial amount of research has been conducted, and much literature is subsequently available on topics such as the role and impact of factors like price, discounts, information of the region of origin of the wine, gender differences in regards to wine purchase and consumption habits, and the segmentation of wine consumers. Researchers, now, need to move away from such repeated studies of wine consumer behavior and should focus on areas surrounding retail marketing, on-premise sales, attitudes of newer generations, impact of social media on wine consumers, similarities and differences between emerging and developed markets, influences of globalization and modernization, increased customer awareness regarding health issues and its link to wine consumption, wine tourism and other aspects that might open new avenues and techniques of marketing and branding for wine manufacturers.

Wine Consumer Behavior Among Younger Generations
Wine Consumer Behavior Among Younger Generations

Research Concept

  • Research Problem

The primary purpose of the research is to analyze and understand the factors and motivations that influence the decision-making procedures of wine purchasers and consumers, and to present a structure that enables the wine producers and retailers to utilize such factors effectively and efficiently to maximize sale and profitability.

  • Research Approach

The paper should follow a mixed research approach in order to utilize the advantages and benefits of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. While quantitative methods enable the researcher to arrive at possible outcomes with less effort, they do not provide a rationale behind the consumer decisions. Using qualitative methods alongside quantitative techniques will help tackle this problem.

  • Key Variables

The primary variables that hold substantial importance for wine consumer behavior include price, quality, region of origin, grape variety, discounts, wine style, and brand image.

  • Design Considerations

Much of the research carried out on wine consumer behavior over the years has employed the research methods of surveys and questionnaires. Such methods may be convenient and require less funding and time, but their reliability is questionable until further works present similar results and findings. In order to acquire as accurate results as possible, the research needs to incorporate the actual behavior of consumers in real markets as well as behavior in simulated scenarios. For this purpose, focus groups along with surveys, should be used to acquire adequate and insightful results.

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