Purpose: The initial hypothesis of the exploratory paper lies in the fact that there exists a demand for healthier wines due to the higher presence of natural compound which potentially bring benefits to the consumer’s health. To satisfy this hypothesis, the research questions that paper tried to answer are the following: Do there exist a demand for naturally resveratrol-enhanced wine? What variables do influence the preference of consumers toward a naturally resveratrol-enhanced wine? As a consequence, the purpose of this paper is to explore what variables naturally influence resveratrol-enhanced wine consumption. Design/methodology/approach: A structured questionnaire was administered through face-to-face interviews to a sample of 250 regular wine consumers which were randomly selected to achieve balanced socio-demographic characteristics. Subsequently, an econometric analysis was performed to estimate the effects that selected attributes, extrapolated from the literature, have on resveratrol-enriched wine consumption. With this aim, a logistic regression model was developed through the assessment of willingness to consume naturally resveratrol-enhanced wine. Findings: The findings of this paper suggest that respondents consider wine as source of beneficial and healthy properties and they are willing to consume enriched-resveratrol wine. The study found a direct correlation between resveratrol and wine extrinsic attributes (organic label, brand) as well as any intrinsic attributes (tannins content). In addition, solely female consumers expressed to consider label information in their preference for resveratrol-enhanced wine. Among socio-demographic factors, only age and gender have an interaction effect on the consumption of these wines. Research limitations/implications: Since this study has some limitations due to the limited number of observations and to the specific regional geographical context, the findings should be generalized in theoretical terms with a certain caution. Before to extend the results to all Italian consumers, future research should test the robustness of the findings by assessing the effect of the attributes that the authors have examined in this study in other environmental contexts, e.g. in other wine regions. Practical implications: The results have important implications for wine producers, since the adoption of production practices explicitly related to the higher natural content of resveratrol can lead to a value augmentation and enhance business income of companies. Moreover, there exists implication also for wine managers, given the knowledge of factors affecting consumers’ attitudes toward naturally resveratrol-enhanced wines can lead to an increase in wine demand that should allow to reach a focused differentiation strategy in specified market segments. This suggests the need to indicate on the label the content of resveratrol as a distinctive signal of the “additional health information” of a wine. Originality/value: While a substantial body of research has analyzed the healthy attributes that affect purchasing process of wine, no other known study has examined the effects of attributes on consumers’ willingness to purchase naturally resveratrol-enhanced wine. The study is the first that explores the consumers’ willingness to buy wine naturally enriched with resveratrol. Previous works took into account only resveratrol-enriched wines. The authors believe that in the eye of consumers there are significant differences between a natural enhancement and a simply technological enrichment, since the concepts and the technological aspects behind the two processes are strongly different. To fill this gap, the authors explored for the first time what variables can influence the preference of a naturally resveratrol-enhanced wine.
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