Consumers more receptive to the term “natural” than “organic”

Friday November 30 2018 by Vitisphere

 The challenges facing organic wines are a source of fascination as evidenced by the packed room at Vinitech which welcomed 300 attendees, on chairs, standing and even on the floor. The challenges facing organic wines are a source of fascination as evidenced by the packed room at Vinitech which welcomed 300 attendees, on chairs, standing and even on the floor.

When buying an organic wine, what are consumers looking for? A contribution to the environment or their health?” asked Yann Raineau, an engineer at the Bordeaux Science Agro School, on November 20 during a conference at Vinitech in Bordeaux. To provide the answer, the researcher presented initial results of a tasting where consumers were gradually fed information about the wines presented, so that purchasing cues could be ascertained.

Conducted with 200 tasters in 2016, the experiment involved an organic and natural wine, an organic wine without added sulphites, an organic wine, a wine with reduced sulphites and a conventional wine. When tasted blind, Yann Raineau stressed that natural wines were generally preferred, although the results were not significant. The more information about the wine was revealed – sulphite-free, organic, natural… - the more the preference increased.

Individual expectations

In terms of price, the study estimated that for an organic wine, the consumer is willing to pay, on average, 1.56 euros more if the bottle is labelled as natural, and €0.98 more if the wine has no added sulphites. The price drops by €0.87 if the wine is conventional. “In a comparative situation, organic wine is competing with wine without inputs in terms of natural qualities”, said Yann Raineau. “Behind their altruistic appetite for the environment, it is actually individual expectations that prevail”," concluded the researcher.

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