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The behaviour of wine consumers towards organic wine: a statistical analysis through the non-parametric combination test

Maurizio Lanfranchi (Department of Economics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy)
Agata Zirilli (Department of Economics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy)
Angela Alibrandi (Department of Economics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy)
Carlo Giannetto (Department of Economics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 20 October 2020

Issue publication date: 25 May 2021




The purpose of this paper is to understand the relationship between consumers and organic wine purchases and how this production process can affect their willingness to pay a premium price. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to assess the role of organic attributes on the consumer’s choice, and how consumer socio-demographic characteristics influence the premium price for organic wine.


This survey represents the continuation of a paper already published by the same authors, which was aimed at identifying the factors that influence the preference and consumption of wine. The information about wine consumers was collected by the use of an ad hoc questionnaire, administered near very busy places, (supermarkets, main squares, theatres, universities and municipal offices) in a random way, within several municipalities in the province of Messina (Italy). The questionnaire, which was anonymous, was distributed directly with the face-to-face method. In total, 1,097 subjects compose the obtained sample. Among these, 459 subjects (42%) said they consumed organic wine, while the remaining 638 (58%) said they did not consume it. In this research, the non-parametric combination test is used, based on a permutation test, chosen for the several optimal properties which characterize it. Permutation tests represent an effective solution for problems concerning the testing of multidimensional hypotheses that are difficult to face in a parametric context.


The results obtained may have interesting implications for wineries in the prediction and choice of the company to convert traditional production into organic production, to meet new markets and new segments of consumers. In this direction, without any doubt, organic wines represent an opportunity for the wineries.

Research limitations/implications

Although field experiments are extremely useful for testing behavioural hypotheses, they are often limited by the small sample.


The originality of the research lies mainly in a deeper knowledge of organic wine consumption trends. The study carried out highlights how important it is to know which factors restrain consumers from buying wine so that companies can review their promotion and communication policies and, if possible, meet the needs of the market. The strength of this paper is the use of an adequate statistical instrument. This multivariate and multistrata procedure allows us to reach effective solutions concerning problems of multidimensional hypotheses verifying within the non-parametric permutation inference; it is used in different application fields that deal with the verifying of multidimensional hypotheses with a complexity that cannot be managed in a parametric context.



The work is the result of a full collaboration of the authors. However, Maurizio Lanfranchi and Carlo Giannetto in addition to the coordination and setting of the study, designed the research plan, interpretations of data and contributed to the writing and reviewing the manuscript. Agata Zirilli and Angela Alibrandi, contributed to the writing-related statistical analysis and to the interpretations of data.


Lanfranchi, M., Zirilli, A., Alibrandi, A. and Giannetto, C. (2021), "The behaviour of wine consumers towards organic wine: a statistical analysis through the non-parametric combination test", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 275-287.



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