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An exploratory study of urban South African consumers’ perceptions of wine and wine consumption: focus on social, emotional, and functional factors

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Wine is of great economic and cultural significance for South Africa, but some population groups were until relatively recently denied equal access to wine and alcohol products. The South African wine industry has launched various campaigns in recent years that aimed at portraying wine as an acceptable and attractive choice when alcohol consumption is considered. It is therefore appropriate now to investigate whether these endeavors of the South African wine industry have resulted in particular consumer behavior and preferences that could serve as input to enhance strategies when marketing to South African consumers. This study uses the thematic analysis method to identify themes that could be of value for wine marketers. To collect data for the study, a total of 44 consumers were assigned to 6 focus groups. Eight main themes driving consumer choices emerged from the data: journey and role of life-stage, context of consumption, conceptualizations, barriers, price and purchasing, bottle closures, health, sensory perception, and cultivars. The influences of gender and ethnicity on consumers’ perceptions of wine and wine consumption were investigated. Gender produced the biggest differences in respect of respondents’ perceptions about wine and wine consumption whilst ethnicity did not appear to be of any significance.
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Keywords: Wine; context of consumption; drinking behavior; ethnicity; focus groups; gender

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Department of Viticulture & Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2: Department of Business Management, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa 3: Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation, AgroSup Dijon, CNRS, INRA, Université Bourgogne, Franche-Comté, France

Publication date: July 3, 2019

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