Most wine drinkers’ choices unchanged: survey

A national survey last month for a California winemaker found about two-thirds of Canadians who buy wine in an average month say they haven’t changed their buying habits.

An Angus Reid survey, conducted June 10-11 for Beringer Vineyards, a Napa Valley producer owned by Australia’s Foster’s Group, found 94 per cent of respondents consider quality the most important attribute, while price factors in the purchasing decisions of 88 per cent.

Beringer, in a release Wednesday, cited the results on price as supportive of its plan to release a new “value-priced” California Collection in Canada.

Among the remaining one third of wine consumers who said they have changed their buying habits, the survey found their likelihood of seeking a lower-priced bottle to rise with the amount of wine they consume.

Almost a third of those who buy five or more bottles of wine per month said they were looking for lower prices, the company said.

When looking for a lower-priced option, Beringer said, almost 80 per cent of respondents said reputation of the brand is a key part of their decisions.

About 71 per cent of Canadians pay attention to the where the wine they drink comes from, the survey found. B.C. and Quebec consumers were most concerned with the region a wine comes from (79 and 78 per cent respectively) while consumers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan were least concerned (55 per cent).

Only about a quarter of respondents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba said price was not important, the survey said. About 92 per cent of B.C. residents and 90 per cent of Ontario residents said price is important.

Quebecers surveyed were more likely be interested in wine that has a limited-time offer or discount, while Atlantic Canadians were the least likely to factor that into a decision.

The Angus Reid Strategies survey was done online with a randomly selected, representative sample of 1,054 adult Canadians who are panelists on the Angus Reid Forum. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The surveyed panelists included 711 who buy at least one bottle of wine a month, the company said.

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