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Wine labelling: is it time to break with tradition? A study of the moderating role of perceived risk

Franck Celhay (Montpellier Research in Management (MRM), Groupe Sup de Co, Montpellier Business School, Montpellier, France)
Juliette Passebois (Marketing Research Team, IRGO, Pôle Universitaire des Sciences de Gestion‐Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV, Bordeaux, France)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 8 November 2011




The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of the level of perceived atypicality in a wine label's design on the consumer's aesthetic appreciation and purchase intent. Furthermore, it intends to highlight the moderating role of perceived risk in the relationship between these three variables.


Four Bordeaux wine labels providing the same information but with different designs are tested on a sample of 166 individuals. The respondents evaluate the labels in terms of perceived typicality and aesthetic appreciation. They are then asked to indicate what their purchase intentions would be for each label in respect of five different consumption occasions.


The results indicate a strong preference for the most typical label. However, this preference decreases when the perceived risk associated with the consumption occasion also decreases. For those consumption occasions perceived as less risky, the respondents seem more willing to choose labels with a moderately atypical design.


This research provides some answers to a problem recently raised with representatives of the wine industry: given that consumers seem to prefer traditional labelling, to what extent is it possible to differentiate a product in terms of design? The authors' results indicate that the acceptance of atypical designs is linked to the level of perceived risk at the moment of purchase. A brand that targets consumption occasions that are perceived as only slightly risky will therefore more easily be able to depart from the visual codes of its product category.



Celhay, F. and Passebois, J. (2011), "Wine labelling: is it time to break with tradition? A study of the moderating role of perceived risk", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 318-337.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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