Simone Mueller Loose et al., . Appetite (2020) doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2020.104843 [published online before print: 18 August 2020 (*)].
The purpose of this study is to examine consumers' reactions to the introduction of nutrition and ingredient labelling for wine, a product that is so far still exempt from mandatory nutrition and ingredient labelling. It also analyses the effect of positive and negative information about the use of ingredients in wine on consumers' choice. Representative samples for wine consumers from three distinctly different countries representing old and new wine markets (Australia, n = 745; Germany, n = 716; Italy, n = 715) completed a discrete choice experiment (DCE) with graphically simulated wine back labels. For each country, respondents were randomly allocated to a reference group and two different treatment conditions where they received newspaper-like information (positive, negative) before making choices. Results for the reference condition show that consumers across all three countries have a significant positive utility for detailed nutrition information. Instead, ingredient information only receives a positive utility in Italy, whereas German and Australian respondents do not receive utility from ingredient labelling. When consumers in the treatment group are confronted with negative media information the attribute importance of ingredients significantly increases across all three countries, clean labelled products without ingredients are preferred, and a significantly higher share of consumers in Germany and Italy prefer not to buy any wine. The treatment effect of positive media information on consumers’ wine choice is lower than that of negative information. The results of the study have implications for the pending new regulation of wine labelling and for communication strategies of the wine industry that should actively inform consumers about the necessity of ingredients in wine production.