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Type: Thesis
Title: Regionality and drivers of consumer liking : the case of Australian Shiraz in the context of the Australian domestic wine market.
Author: Johnson, Trent Edward
Issue Date: 2013
School/Discipline: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Abstract: Understanding the needs of consumers is a fundamental principle of marketing and Shiraz is arguably the most important grape variety produced in Australia, as it is the variety most widely associated, both domestically and globally, with Australia’s wine industry. This three part project examined consumers in the Australian domestic wine market in respect of their liking of Australian Shiraz and provided up to date market intelligence on that market. The first stage of the project consisted of a study that segmented the Australian domestic market using a newly developed Fine Wine Instrument (FWI) that consisted of three variables, as the base. This instrument identified three segments in the market which were denoted: “Connoisseurs”; “Aspirants”; and “No Frills” wine consumers. The Connoisseur segment consumed more wine, spent more money on wine and was more knowledgeable about wine than the other segments identified in the market. The results demonstrated that this segment of consumers was important to the Australian wine industry, as they offered large potential lifetime earnings to the industry. This project also identified a number of stable segments within that market and provided updated information on the market. The next stage introduced the Shiraz variety into the project and was motivated by Wine Australia’s “Regional Heroes” brand segmentation. The aim of the project was to identify those sensory attributes that might differentiate Shiraz wines from a number of delimited Australian Shiraz producing regions. The study employed a number of wine experts to undertake a sorting task, where wines that were perceived as similar by the experts were sorted together in groups. If wines from a single region were perceived as similar, then they were sorted together. The data from this task identified three dimensions that separated the wines and these dimensions generally represented sensory attributes associated with Australian Shiraz. The wines also underwent sensory descriptive analysis which confirmed that the wines occupied diverse sensory spaces. However, identifying specific sensory attributes that differentiated wines from different regions was problematic and we concluded that any future studies of this type should concentrate on a single wine region, with a large cross section of wines from that region, rather than examining a number of wines from many regions. The last study combined elements of the previous two, where a diverse sub set of twelve of those Shiraz wines was tasted by a cohort of Australian Shiraz wine consumers and the consumers rated their acceptability, or liking, of each wine. Those consumers also completed a questionnaire so that they might be segmented using the FWI developed in the first study. The sensory data for each of the wines was married with the consumers’ acceptability data and the sensory attributes that drove the liking (and disliking) of the wines were identified. A similar exercise was undertaken with a cohort of wine experts and the results compared. The results demonstrated that as consumers’ wine knowledge and wine involvement increased, their wine preferences mimicked those of the wine experts and they preferred more elegant and complex wines. By comparison, the consumers with lower levels of wine knowledge and involvement tended to prefer wines that demonstrated more one dimensional fruit and oak characters. This technique of marrying sensory with consumer data can be transferred to any wine style and identified consumer segment. The project provides the wine industry with tools that might enable producers to better identify and meet the needs of their consumers. This, in turn, might improve their profitability and increase consumer satisfaction, both admirable goals.
Advisor: Bastian, Sue
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, 2013
Keywords: Australian shiraz; wine conumers; regionality; drivers of liking
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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