Wine consumers open to organic, sustainable and Biodynamic wine

Yountville, Calif.–Wine Market Council released the results of the group’s “green” study, highlighting U.S. wine consumers’ attitudes regarding organic, sustainable and biodynamic wine production. The research survey looks into wine consumers' understanding, perception and reaction to various green designations for wine production.

Wine Market Council surveyed 1,159 primarily high frequency wine drinkers (those who consume wine more often than once a week), to gauge their understanding of the various production methods, perception of apparent benefits to consumers and how relevant green methods are to pricing and buying decisions. The complete report is now available to Wine Market Council members and will be discussed at the association’s upcoming Annual Membership Meeting taking place on May 11 at The CIA at Copia in Napa, Calif.

A few of the council’s findings included:

• The data indicates a willingness to spend slightly more for wine made from organically grown grapes than from conventional grapes, and slightly more still for sustainably or biodynamically produced wines than wine made from organically grown grapes.

• Consumers are more confident that they understand what "made from organic grapes" means than what "sustainable" or "biodynamic" mean.

• Sustainable and biodynamic wines are significantly more often associated with external environmental impact (water and CO2 issues).

• Organic wine and wine made from organic grapes are more often associated with input issues (no sulfur dioxide, no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, non-GMO).

• There was little difference perceived between "organic wine" and "wine made from organic grapes," but substantial differences between those wines and biodynamic and sustainable production.

The study also dove deeper into consumer habits through a three day online discussion with 11 high frequency wine drinkers. Among the highlights:

• A commitment to organic food doesn’t directly translate into a similar commitment to "organic" wine.

• Barriers to purchasing wine made using these production methods include: perceptions that they cost more, not liking one they had tried, skepticism about there being standards behind the designations, availability, visibility and a lack of awareness.
• The willingness to pay more for these wines is dependent on occasion, previous experience, or recommendation.

• These designations could be a tipping point for decisions to purchase a wine among those who see green production as a positive.

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