Development of a wine style guided by consumer research
In an era of global market competition, wine companies realize the need to understand better consumer preferences and respond to their needs effectively. At the 11th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference Terry Lee presented a paper (Lesschaeve et al. 2002) on the use of preference mapping to define successfully the sensory preferences of wine consumers. The current study proposes a strategy to target and develop a wine style based on preference mapping outcomes.
Twelve white wines were selected to represent a specific category available in Ontario liquor stores. One hundred and fifteen Canadian consumers from the Greater Toronto Area were recruited according to specific demographic criteria, as well as their white wine purchase and consumption habits. Consumers participated in tasting sessions held on three consecutive days.
During each session, they tasted four of the 12 selected wines according to a specific experimental design and indicated their overall liking. Eight of the twelve wines were then evaluated in triplicate by an extensively trained panel for a comprehensive range of sensory attributes. Sensory preferences were mapped using internal preference mapping techniques aimed at explaining the preference of consumers in terms of sensory attributes of the wine.
An opportunity for developing a new white wine style was highlighted. The profile of this new style was defined by its coordinates on the preference map. Then, the expected intensities of its sensory attributes were obtained by reverse engineering the coordinates into attribute scores (Moskowitz 1994). Strategies are proposed to communicate effectively the sensory profile of the new desired wine style to winemakers.
Lesschaeve, I., & Findlay, C.J. (2004). Development of a wine style guided by consumer research. In: 12th Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference proceedings. July 25-29. Melbourne, Australia.