The purpose of this paper is to explore consumers’ perceptions and beliefs in the health benefits of wine and the relationship with wine consumption patterns.
In store face-to-face survey results from 402 wine consumers were elaborated with two-step cluster analysis. ANOVA confirmed differences among groups. Groups were profiled by a χ2 significance analysis when adequate. A multivariate binary logistic regression estimated wine consumption influence on healthiness perceptions.
Consumers converge into four groups: two health-oriented – optimistic and medical; two non-health-oriented – unintentional drinker and unconvinced. Groups are not significantly differentiated in socio-economic terms. Wine consumption behaviour influences health orientation, specifically for monthly and wine drinkers, vs weekly and other alcohol drinkers. Health-oriented consumers favourably welcome and are willing to pay more for health-enhancing wine. Consumers believe that wine consumption mainly benefits atherosclerosis and hypertension.
Since health-oriented wine is not common in the market, consumers provided answers based on their experience with other health-oriented food and beverages and on the common appreciation of the “terroir” perspective. Future research could extend the analysis on health claims and nutrition claims through blind wine tasting, price range acceptability and market potential dimensions.
The high number of wine SKUs and consumer interest in wine healthiness suggest wine manufacturers should invest in health-oriented differentiation strategies, focused on atherosclerosis and hypertension claims and higher prices.
Given worldwide wine consumption, the research findings contribute to public health policy by addressing alcoholism and promoting healthy consumption behaviour.
The findings provide insights for private and public sectors to support innovative approaches for the development of health-promoting food system.
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