What are the most important factors you consider before you purchase something? Are you looking at price? Quality? How about evaluating the label to make sure the product comes from a trusted source? How important is it that your food is local? Organic? Hormone free? Do environmental considerations come into play?
Turns out these are important considerations for consumers. (You might’ve seen a Chipotle commercial recently featuring a pig that makes the same case. You can watch it below too.)
In fact, a lot of research exists on consumer’s environmentally and socially responsible purchasing attitudes and behaviors. But since there’s very little research looking specifically at wine consumers, we decided to check it out on our own.
We surveyed core wine consumers, those of us who drink wine at least once a week, and account for over 90% of wine sales. It turns out that being environmentally and social responsible is pretty mainstream for wine consumers.
We consumers are often spit into demographic groups, like are you a man or women, or are you a Baby Boomers, Gen X or Millennial. To be sure there are generational differences between consumers, but when it comes to sustainability attitudes – looking at the psychographic (attitude) differences may be more telling than simply age.
The most environmentally and socially minded consumers are called the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability or LOHAS. 24% of core wine consumers fall into this category. If you’re always trying to make choices at home that reduce your impact on the environment and you support companies and products that do the same thing – then you’re probably a LOHAS.
The Naturalites are the next “greenest” group. Naturalites are all about personal health. When it comes to the category of items called “in me, on me, around me” they pretty much act like the LOHAS. They choose consumable products, like food and beverage, soaps and lotions, or even baby bedding or cloths, based on health safety.
Drifters and Conventionals migrate down the environmental and social responsibility hierarchy making more sustainable choices when they’re convenient or cost neutral. Lastly, we’re got the Unconcerned group who really don’t care about our impacts on the environment or society. Since you’re reading this blog post you’re probably not Unconcerned; we can all do our part to help convince them why making responsible choices is good for the environment and society.
This research is based on consumer attitudes and behavior. Most people, including my family, can always make better choices, much the same way that as a winery we’re trying to become a LOHAS among all businesses.
Next week we’ll discuss what sustainable factors are most important to each of these consumers when considering a purchase of goods or services.
And finally, here’s that video we promised at the top of the post.