July 8, 2019

Downside of disclosing wine-making info to consumers

Consumers are more willing to pay for wine that comes with an organic or organic grape label. However, providing information about certification standards and organic production practices reduces consumer willingness to pay for all wines, according to an Oregon State University-led study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Further, the study found that additional information about conventional wine-making practices restores consumer willingness to pay for wine labeled organic, but not for wines made with organic grapes or conventional wines.

The study provides insight on consumer perception of organic and organic grape labeling, and how labels that highlight the absence of ingredients are perceived by consumers who aren’t familiar with standard production practices, said study lead author Nadia Streletskaya, an applied economist at Oregon State University who collaborated on the research with colleagues at Cornell University.

The results have implications for winemakers who are increasingly providing information to consumers about how wine is made, either on their websites or in their tasting rooms, said Streletskaya. “Not many wineries will take people through all of the steps of production, but there is a growing tendency to share more details on production, and that might be counterproductive,” she said.

Chris Branam, Oregon State University