Would You Be Willing to Pay More for Organic Wine?

If organic wine was on the menu, would you pay more for it compared to its conventional counterparts? According to a new UF/IFAS study, the answer is no.

For the study, which was recently published in the journal Food Policy, former UF/IFAS graduate student Lane Abraben, used an economic model to determine consumer spending preferences when it comes organic wine. He specifically examined wine consumed from the Tuscany region of Italy. His adviser, Kelly Grogan, a UF/IFAS Assistant Professor of food and resource economics, said the research findings likely apply to any organically produced wine.

According to Grogan, one of the first finding was about 16% of wine consumers do purchase organic wine.

To crunch the data, UF/IFAS researchers collected prices paid for different bottles of wine through online retailers. They also compared various wine characteristics to get the price effect of organic certification and labeling, according to Grogan.

UF/IFAS researchers used a data set with 444 premium red wines from 50 wineries in the Tuscany region of Italy and sold to Italian and American consumers. They also found out which wines were organic, and they used an average rating from multiple sources to determine the wines’ quality.

Of the wines they used, about 31% are organic; about 42% of those are certified as organic, and of the certified organic wines, about 24% are labeled as organic.

Either way, results from the study showed consumers are not willing to pay more for wine labeled as organic.

FYI: From 1999 to 2011, global agricultural land devoted to certified organic production increased from 27 million acres to 91 million acres. And, the market for organic products has increased from $15.2 billion to $59 billion, according to a 2013 report from an international organics group.

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2 comments on “Would You Be Willing to Pay More for Organic Wine?

  1. That’s very interesting and it’s both reassuring and worrying at the same time. Reassuring because, contrary to popular misconception, organic production is not necessarily kinder to the environment and it would be nice to think that consumers had thought the issues through and come to the conclusion that, if they value the environment, buying organic wines in preference to those made with traditional means is not always the best choice.

    On the other hand it’s worrying because I suspect that most consumers have no in-depth knowledge of the pros and cons of organic production and so, despite the best efforts of wine makers to differentiate themselves in one way or another, they (the consumers) make their choices based primarily on (usually low) price

  2. Organic farming of grapes involves using more toxic pesticides and a higher frequency of pesticide application and higher fossil fuel use and increased climate damaging tillage.

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