The relevance of certification of origin as a marketing tool in the South African wine market
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.
Almost every geographical wine producing area has a generic marketing organisation in the form of a wine route organisation or similar organisation that aspires to create a favourable perception of their area in the minds of wine consumers. In their efforts to try and escape the growing commoditising of wines, wine producers recently intensified their efforts to differentiate themselves from other offers by increasingly certifying more wine as wine from a specific geographical area, launching competitions that embrace terroir as the defining factor for quality and increasing the number of demarcated areas. It was the purpose of this study to examine whether the South African consumer assigns a high degree of relevance to the certification of origin as an influencing factor when purchasing wine. As a starting point, a literature study was conducted to establish the current state of knowledge regarding the relevance of certification of origin of wine in wine marketing. The literature review also provided the framework for designing a survey conducted among South African wine consumers. The data gathered via an online questionnaire was analysed by employing both descriptive and inferential statistical methods. The analysis showed that certification of origin of wine plays a secondary role in influencing consumers when faced with a purchasing decision on its own. However, as part of the regional composite variable, which consists of variety, region and wine style, it plays a major role in influencing consumers (McCutcheon, Bruwer & Li, 2009: 229). In accordance with other studies conducted among South African wine consumers (Von Arnim, 2008: 58), the specific wine variety emerged as the most important factor influencing consumers. It was also found that consumers with a high involvement and interest in wine assign a higher degree of relevance to certification of origin of wine than consumers with a low involvement. The findings of this research report are based on respondents who mainly reside within the Western Cape and the demographic profile of respondents shows that mostly male respondents completed the online questionnaire. The findings are therefore tentative due to the geographical and demographical limitations. This research report is of value to academic researchers, wine marketing professionals and generic marketing organisations such as wine route organisations.