This paper investigates the influence of ethnologically based cultural factors on the motives and occasions for wine consumption both in Australia and overseas. As the international market for wine expands, global marketers have begun searching for new ways to define trans‐national segments. In particular, the success of Australian wines in the UK has provided a strong base for expansion into the competitive European market One key decision must involve what degree of differentiation the marketing program for each country will contain. Because many marketing theorists see ethnic or cultural background as one of the major underlying determinants of consumer behaviour this decision becomes quite critical. Others argue that consumption of wine is not culturally dependent but based on either a common set of motivations or is determined solely by the occasion in which wine will be consumed. To study this hypothesis a questionnaire was administered to approximately 500 respondents from a variety of Australian and European backgrounds. A single cross‐sectional design was employed. Respondents were primarily selected using a random sampling procedure with quotas boosted for some cultural groups by a convenience sampling process. The four chosen for analysis were Italian, Greek, German and Australian. It was found using an occasion‐based segmentation approach that there were significant differences between wine consumers of different cultural backgrounds. It is concluded that cultural factors do impact on the consumption process of wine and should be considered in any proposals for trans‐national segmentation strategies. However it is also shown that there are some motivational factors that are not culturally dependent. These factors are prime reasons for general wine consumption behaviour and could be used if an undifferentiated global! approach to wine segmentation is the most efficient for the marketer.
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