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Setting the Benchmark for Winery Tasting Room Research: An Emerging Region Gets a Global Perspective
Date:4/22/2009

VINELAND, ON, April 22 /PRNewswire/ - Do winery tasting rooms really help generate sales for wineries? According to researchers at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre almost half of winery tasting room visitors purchase the winery's brand within three months of their visit.

"This research proves that the tasting room experience does actually convert visitors to the brand resulting in future sales," said Dr. Isabelle Lesschaeve, research director, consumer insights and product innovation for Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. "So, it's important for wineries to have their brand available to the purchaser either through a liquor store or in the case of a small or boutique winery strategies such as wine clubs or the availability of online purchasing are important to keep momentum going. Also, knowing the dynamics of their visitors, wineries can organize and promote events in a more deliberate way."

Dr. Johan Bruwer, from the University of Adelaide in Australia who is also a senior research fellow at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre developed the winery visitation survey and Lesschaeve conducted the work.

"Some wineries tend to neglect the tasting room experience thinking it's a one-time deal. We show that it actually can convert purchasers to the brand. We plan to continue our research toward brand loyalty: its development and sustainability," Lesschaeve adds. "Also very exciting to note this benchmark study is a North-American first and sets a standard for future research in wine regions across the continent."

Five wineries located in the Niagara Region took part in the study during 2007 with well over 900 visitors completing the survey at the end of their tasting room experience. The survey covered questions which included: demographic profiles, tourist behaviour, region perceptions, purchase behaviour, and consumption habits. A follow-up study measuring the effect of their experience was conducted via e-mail three months after their visit that showed nearly half purchased the winery's brand since their visit at either a liquor store or restaurant. The report briefing can be accessed at www.vinelandresearch.com under quick links.

"This in-depth study demonstrates Vineland's commitment to deliver industry-driven research," said Dr. Jim Brandle, C.E.O., Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. "We are very pleased to be able to offer these findings as they unlock key insights into profitability and sustainability that directly affect the industry."

    Other report findings:

    -   31% of visitors to the Niagara Region relied on word-of-mouth as
        their source for information about the Region and its wineries. The
        follow-up study also highlighted this, with 86% recommending the
        winery to family, friends, and colleagues.
    -   Almost 85% of visitors drink wine at least once per week (22% daily),
        and consume approximately five bottles of wine per month.
    -   The entire sample said they drink more red wine than any other type,
        and spend an average of $106 per month on wine.

About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is an independent, not-for-profit organization established as a world-class centre for horticultural science and innovation. In its capacity to enable and foster relationships with industry, academia and government, Vineland works to deliver premium horticultural products and production innovations. Vineland brings a global perspective to the horticulture industry and offers a broad range of lasting benefits both locally and internationally. Vineland's research priorities align with industry needs and its outcomes focus on the growth of the entire horticulture industry.


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SOURCE Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
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