What's with all this 'pink marketing' to women wine consumers? Pink labels, low-calorie 'lite' wines, and books that compare wines to wardrobe choices. On the Women Wine Critics Board web blog, researcher Christian Miller answers some marketing questions with statistical data.
Are there really 'chick wines?' Do women really prefer white wines and lighter styled reds? Do 'critter' labels appeal more to women than men? Who are the wine collectors in the family? Who are the point chasers? Do women avoid high alcohol wines more than men?
Miller is the proprietor of Full Glass Research and director of research for Wine Opinions. 'We do market research for a variety of wineries, and grower/winery organizations. During the course of this research, we often look for patterns or trends by gender,' explains Miller.
Core wine drinkers - those who drink wine once a week or more often - are 46% male, 54% female. This group consumes over 80% of the wine in the U.S. However, the gender ratio more than reverses in California, where, according to Miller, the majority of core wine drinkers are men.
Miller's research indicates little basis for a popular belief that women prefer white wines and cute labels. 'Females were more likely to choose pinot noir, but the other varietals showed no gender differences,' he reports. 'Females were slightly more enthusiastic about zinfandel, but otherwise there were no significant gender differences.'
'We measured trial and opinions on 15 different brands with fanciful or "critter" labels, where a sense of humor was part of the packaging,' continues Miller. 'Among these, females did tend to favor Rex Goliath and Fat Bastard, but for the remaining 13 brands there were no significant differences in ratings between males and females, including wines like Little Penguin, Three Thieves, Screw Kappa Napa and Toasted Head.'
While 'wine geeks' are as likely to be women as men-they both drink wine frequently, have distinct opinions about wines, and spring for expensive wines regularly-the gender difference grows more obvious as you go up the price spectrum. When asked if they have ever bought wines priced $100 or more, 45% of Wine Opinions males say yes vs. 24% of females.
Furthermore, according to Miller, the wine collector skews clearly male. 'They are much more likely to have 100 or more bottles at home. Income has a strong influence on high end wine purchases, and females on average report lower household incomes than males.'
Readers of Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator skew male, says Miller, 4-1 for Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, and 2-1 for the Wine Spectator. Males also stated higher influence on buying decisions for these publications, so 'it is reasonable to assume that 'point-chasing' is a more of a male activity,' concludes Miller.
Visit the full Women Wine Critics Board article for some surprising answers.
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