An exploration of consumer perceptions of sustainable wine

Gary J. Pickering, Maria Best

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Despite increasing interest in the category, there has been limited consumer-focused research to date around sustainable wines, especially in the Canadian context, despite the importance of consumer perceptions in driving wine purchase behaviour. In this mixed methods online survey of Canadian wine consumers (n = 725), we sought to determine how important sustainability-related cues are in purchase decisions, what beliefs and knowledge consumers possess around sustainable wines, and what are the characteristics of consumers with low and high sustainable wine involvement. Results show that sustainability-related cues are somewhat valued by consumers when making purchase decisions, but have low importance relative to the other cues examined. Environmental dimensions of sustainability have high saliency, in contrast with social and economic dimensions, and a significant minority of respondents report no or very limited knowledge of sustainable wines. Additionally, consumers with high involvement in sustainable wines tend to be younger, better educated, more involved in wine in general, and spend more per bottle than those with low involvement. Our findings support initiatives to develop global frameworks around sustainable wine and educate consumers on sustainable wine practises, as well as offer insights into marketing opportunities to promote this important product category.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-246
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Wine Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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