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Unformatted text preview: preferences. Combining Sensory and Marketing to Design New Wine Styles
Wine companies have recognized the need to better understand consumer preferences to sustain and develop their businesses in a global competitive market. Such an understanding allows wineries to design wine styles that better respond to consumer needs, wants, and expectations. Market researchers traditionally survey volume sales to track market trends for a given product and they also characterize demographics, such as age, gender, and lifestyle, of both purchasers and nonpurchasers. Such data can reveal product winners and losers in terms of market share. To understand why the sales of some products decline, market researchers usually conduct qualitative tests, such as focus groups, with consumers who purchase the products in a particular category (Kanetkar 2000). During a typical 90-minute session, consumers discuss with a moderator why they do or do not like or purchase a product. Product tasting (blind or labeled) can be organized to elicit consumer opinion. The information retrieved is qualitative and provides direction on whether the lack of preference is due to sensory profile, packaging, or supply chain. However, this qualitative information is limited in its utility, and it is risky to make business decisions based on intuition and observation of consumer views in a focus group (Lawless and Heymann 1998). One study highlighted discrepancies among consumers, wine connoisseurs, and sensory descriptive panelists concerning sensory perceptions labeled under the same sensory attribute (Lesschaeve 2006). For example, the sensory at- tribute “oak barrel” used by the sensory panel was not correlated with the “woody” attribute used by the consumers, which was correlated with “vanilla” when consumers liked the wines or with “smoky oak” when they did not. Quantitative data collected with appropriate consumers or sensory panels are therefore critical to guide effectively product development or winemaking processes. Market researchers usually organize hedonic tests in different cities, thus representing the rang...
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- Spring '09