Identifying the correlation between demographic variables and wine purchasing in the South African market

Hugo, Pieter De Wet (2011-03)

Thesis (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.


Wine is not the alcoholic beverage of choice for the average South African. South Africa‟s wine consumption per capita is much lower than in other wine producing countries. It would be hugely beneficial to the South African wine industry if our domestic market were beter developed. This study aims to improve our understanding and knowledge of the South African wine market by exploring the purchasing behaviour and preferences of the South African wine consumer. This objective is attained by identifying whether a correlation exists between demographic variables and wine purchasing behaviour in the South African market. A literature review of international research indicated that various demographical, behavioural and other determinants significantly influence a consumer's decision to buy wine. This information was used to formulate a data collection strategy. A quota sampling strategy was used and the data was collected with the help of an online questionnaire. This study used the chi-squared test of a contingency table to determine if a relationship exists between any of the variables and the Cramer‟s V test was used to measure the strength of the association. This study produced similar results as other international studies conducted on the factors influencing wine purchasing behaviour. The male survey respondents tended to spend more on average on a bottle of wine and had on average a higher wine knowledge when compared to the female survey respondents. The older survey participants consumed more wine and tended to spend more per month on wine compared to their younger counterparts. The respondents in the higher income groups tended to spend more per month on wine and purchased wine that is more expensive when compared to their counterparts in the lower income groups. This study found significant relationships between wine knowledge and wine purchasing variables. Higher levels of wine knowledge often lead to higher wine consumption levels. Furthermore, the respondents in the higher wine expenditure groups generally possessed a higher wine knowledge compared to the respondents in the lower expenditure groups. This study found a number of significant relationships between the purchasing behaviour and the preferences of the survey respondents. The respondents in the higher consumption groups preferred red or white wine and had an adverse preference for wine in the “other” category. Furthermore, most red and sparkling wine consumers preferred a natural cork while most dry white wine consumers preferred a screwcap as closure method. The respondents displayed a possible willingness to pay more for a bottle of red wine than for a bottle of white wine. Furthermore, the respondents favoured screwcap in the lower average price category and preferred a natural cork in the higher average price categories. The survey participants tended to purchase wine at different price points and did not only buy wine in one price bracket.

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