Sensory expectations generated by colours of red wine labels
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 37, 146-158
Since there is usually no sales assistance available in supermarkets, wine labels represent the pivotal source of information for consumers at the point of purchase. In particular, it is the colour of the label which largely influences consumers’ wine choice. The purpose of our study was to reveal customers’ sensory expectations in relation to the flavour of red wines based on their label colours. Moreover, our goal was to examine whether there are any differences in the consumers’ expectations according to their frequency of wine purchase and gender. A survey was carried out among respondents who were intercepted in the wine aisles of two stores of an Austrian supermarket chain. The results indicate that label colours have a strong influence on flavour expectations. While, for example, red and black are most likely to create tangy flavour expectations, red and orange are most associated with fruity and flowery flavours. In addition, it appears that frequent buyers have stronger expectations than infrequent buyers with respect to most of the colours analysed. Finally, the customers’ gender seems to have little influence on flavour expectations. The results may be considered by wine producers in their label design to create sensory expectations in accordance with the actual flavour of their wine and, hence, avoid any disconfirmation of consumers’ expectations when they taste the wine. This is of particular importance when wine is sold in retail stores and consumers cannot rely on their taste experience prior to their purchase.
Red wine labels