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NEW YORK -- Premium wine consumers come in many different varieties, and shouldn't be viewed as a general consumer group, according to findings of a consumer research project sponsored by Constellation Wines U.S.
Project Genome, the online study of more than 3,500 premium wine consumers, found that there is no typical wine consumer; rather, consumers tend to fall into six unique segments, each with its own set of attributes, motivations, preferences, and shopping behaviors.
"These findings give us a dramatic, new level of understanding into consumers' wine preferences and needs -- and represent bold new opportunities for the U.S. wine industry to be more relevant to our consumers," said José Fernandez, president and c.e.o. of Constellation Wines U.S.
According to the study, conducted by Copernicus Marketing Consulting and Research, Inc., premium wine consumers surveyed fell into six segments: Enthusiast, Image Seeker, Savvy Shopper, Traditionalist, Satisfied Sipper, and Overwhelmed.
Enthusiasts are consumers who are passionate about the entire wine experience, from researching what they buy to sharing their discoveries with friends and family. Image Seekers feel sophisticated on one hand, and adventurous and trendy on the other hand; they are just as likely to choose wine with sophisticated labels as wine with fun, image-driven labels. Savvy Shoppers, as their name suggests, seek great wines at a great value; they enjoy drinking and shopping for wine and believe that good wines need not cost a lot of money. Traditionalists want to feel that their wine is made by a well-known winery that's been around for a long time. Meanwhile, Satisfied Sippers look for a sensible choice they can feel comfortable serving to friends and family.
Overwhelmed consumers, who make up the largest group -- 23 percent -- find shopping for wine complex and worry about making a mistake. Good shelf descriptions and retail and wait staff recommendations play a key role in their purchase decisions.