International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 16 March 2012



Orth, U.R. (2012), "Editorial", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 24 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijwbr.2012.04324aaa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Wine Business Research, Volume 24, Issue 1

This year’s first issue continues with five regular research papers contributed by distinguished scholars from Australia, Canada, and the USA. Given the journal’s ongoing repositioning as an outlet for all business disciplines (compared to its original marketing focus) I am especially pleased to publish two articles with a general management focus.

The structure of a wine industry in terms of firm size distribution is of interest to researchers, managers, and political decision makers alike as production efficiency and ultimately profitability often varies with size. In the first article, Donald Cyr and his co-authors assess the structure of California’s North Coast wine industry over a quarter century to show that the number and percentages of small wineries (i.e. firms producing fewer than 5,000 cases) increased disproportionally. The researchers suggest that smaller wineries may be able to better adapt to changing markets and technological advances and offer a number of possible explanations to be tested in future studies.

Around the world, along with the growth of regional wine industries frequently comes a demand for coursework to further educate management and employees. Although community colleges, universities, and other educational institutions have responded – usually by offering courses in viticulture and enology – little is formally known what business and management-related coursework is desired by winery owners and managers. Nicholas Williamson and his colleagues address the issue of what coursework industry-specific educational institutions should offer to benefit wineries and wine industries from the perspective of an emerging wine region, North Carolina. Employing the resource-based view and a sample of 34 winery owners/managers yields a systematic approach for predicting courses desired by members of the professional community based on characteristics and activities of regional firms.

Market segmentation plays a key role in successfully marketing wine to target audiences. In this issue’s third article, Australian researchers Sue Bastian and her colleagues tackle the question of whether and how consumers can be differentiated regarding their sensory liking of different white wine styles. Based on a sample of 150 regular white wine consumers from metropolitan South Australia, three clusters emerged (e.g. White wine likers, Chardonnay dislikers, and Riesling likers) with markedly different compositions in terms of socio-demographics, wine consumption behavior, knowledge, and involvement. Although the clusters may not be universal or exhaustive, linking sensory preferences with psychographic, behavioral, and demographic data highlights the potential of integrated wine-making and marketing strategies.

While sales of organic foods continue to experience strong growth globally, the wine industry appears to lag behind, especially in the USA where growth rates are small. To aid professionals in better communicating, promoting, and selling organic wine Sonoma State University’s Janeen Olson and her colleagues examine how environmental protection and hedonistic values and beliefs impact consumers’ purchase behavior. Employing a sample of over 300 American wine consumers and partial least squares analysis identifies drivers (e.g. the belief that organic products are better for the environment) and inhibitors (e.g. self-sacrifice, and the willingness to pay a price premium) of organic wine purchase but also include the finding that a hedonistic lifestyle is not related. Implications for marketers are especially well delineated.

The big question of “why” also motivates the final article in this issue, a study conducted by Woodbury’s University Camillo Angelo. More specifically, he investigates why consumers in China buy (or do not buy) and consume wine, and what types and styles they prefer. Extending previous research on the emerging Chinese wine market, the study integrates qualitative and quantitative approaches to generate practical guidelines for retailers and the hospitality industry on how to better market wine to specific audiences.

Each of the articles in this issue makes a significant contribution to the knowledge in wine business management and research, even though each follows a different framework and format when developing insights. Collectively the articles in this issue illustrate that there are numerous challenges in managing wine businesses, with many questions yet to be answered. The next issue of IJWBR will provide another set of current and innovative approaches used when expanding and presenting knowledge and insights in the context of wine business research.

Ulrich R. Orth

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