The Culture of Wine Buying in the UK Off-trade
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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PURPOSE – The UK wine market is one of the largest in the world. The purpose of this paper is to investigate current social and cultural influences affecting the buying behaviour of UK wine consumers within off-trade environments. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH – Three stakeholder groups involved in the provision and sale of wine in the UK are identified. Data gathered from these stakeholders, via semi-structured interviews, are used to classify groups of UK wine consumers and to develop a question schedule for a series of six wine consumer focus groups. FINDINGS – The results show that intended usage and or consumption situation have significant influence upon purchasing behaviour. The purchase decision is further influenced by whether intended usage is to be private or public. Significant gender differences are identified; wine buying is often perceived as a predominantly male role although more women actually buy more wine. Differences in low involvement and novice behaviours are identified. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS – The sample population used was small and may not be representative quantitatively. However the use of focus groups enabled the gathering of significant qualitative data. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS– As a mature, sophisticated wine market, wine purchasing and consumption in the UK has become so incorporated into lifestyle that the consumption context drives purchasing behaviour whether overtly or covertly. Understanding the context of presumed use enables better understanding of consumer behaviour to be developed. ORIGIONALITY/VALUE – This study suggests that whilst high and low involvement market segments can be, and have previously been, identified these are artificial and fluid constructs since most wine consumers utilise a range of behaviours.
Ritchie, C. (2009). The Culture of Wine Buying Behaviour in the UK Off-Trade. International Journal of Wine Business Research. Vol. 21  194 - 211
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