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The Irish wine market: a market segmentation study

Sarah Geraghty (Shannon College of Hotel Management, Shannon, Ireland)
Ann M. Torres (Cairnes Graduate School of Business and Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 5 June 2009




The Irish wine market has experienced unprecedented growth in the last 15 years; drivers of growth include increased affordability and accessibility of wine and improved branding. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Irish wine market may be meaningfully segmented for successful brand positioning.


This research adopts a lifestyle segmentation approach by linking lifestyle values, product attributes and buying and consumption patterns. The primary research is descriptive in design, employing a self‐administered questionnaire to collect quantitative data on wine consumer behaviour. Efforts made to ensure a highly representative sample included choosing a large sample size, administering the questionnaire in a range of outlets, and gathering information from wine drinkers with wide ranging involvement levels.


The research identifies three clusters of wine consumers: casual wine buyer, value seeking wine buyer, and wine traditionalist. Together, the clusters provide an insight into consumers' behaviour. The high correlation of statistics from this research with those of The Wine Development Board suggests the data findings are representative of the population.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of adopting a behavioural basis in conducting the segmentation is the highly descriptive nature of the resulting data. Examining behaviours give an insight into how consumers act, but fails to take into account the underlying motivations and rationale for consumer actions. The use of more complex segmentation bases, such as value systems and lifestyles may yield a richer understanding of the Irish wine consumer.


The profiles provide wine marketers with an insight into Irish wine consumer behaviour. The demographic information and the buyer behaviour data provide marketers with points of access to their target market. Brand positioning can be improved by ensuring the brand communicates and emphasises the product attributes, which the targeted segments value the most when choosing wine.



Geraghty, S. and Torres, A.M. (2009), "The Irish wine market: a market segmentation study", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 143-154.



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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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