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Contingent consumer decision making in the wine industry: the role of hedonic orientation

Concha R. Neeley (Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA)
Kyeong Sam Min (University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)
Pamela A. Kennett‐Hensel (University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 29 June 2010




This paper aims to evaluate the relationships among consumer expertise, hedonic orientation, price consciousness, and consumption using wine as the focal product. While these variables' impact on decision making within this industry have been examined in isolation, this is believed to be the first study marrying these hedonic and non‐hedonic characteristics.


Data were collected from a convenience sample of wine purchasers consisting of faculty, staff and upper level students at a major southwestern university using a 95 item questionnaire. In total, 241 usable surveys were included in the analysis.


The findings indicate support for all five hypothesized relationships. The importance of hedonic orientation as a psychographic characteristic emerges. The relationship between expertise and consumption is moderated by hedonic orientation as is the relationship between expertise and price consciousness. Price consciousness mediates the relationship between expertise and consumption, but only for those consumers who have a high hedonic orientation.

Research limitations/implications

The results may not be generalizable across all consumers given the convenience nature of the sample. Additionally only one product category, wine, is included.


This study examines wine consumers' hedonic orientation and its impact on ultimate consumption. Further, this study is also valuable to the field of consumer behavior through development of a scale to capture the dimensions underlying the construct of hedonic orientation. Previous researchers have established profiles of persons who engage in hedonic consumption, but have not assessed an individual's hedonic orientation.



Neeley, C.R., Sam Min, K. and Kennett‐Hensel, P.A. (2010), "Contingent consumer decision making in the wine industry: the role of hedonic orientation", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 324-335.



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