Lake County Winegrowers Sustainable eNews – Dec. ’12
Welcome to our current edition of the Lake County Winegrape Commission’s Sustainable Winegrowing Program eNewsletter.
In this edition – Happy New Year from the Lake County Winegrape Commission’s Sustainable Winegrowing Program! We hope you are having a joyous holiday season! Also, new consumer and industry data show sustainability trending in the marketplace.…
“Sustainability” Important in Wine Purchasing Decisions
Lake County, CA – A new study sponsored by the The Wine Institute is showing considerable trending towards the desirability of certified sustainable wines in the marketplace. Preliminary data was discussed in a webinar and conference call on December 11th, with more detailed information being made available early next year. The study, “LOHAS Consumer Trends Database,” seeks to quantify the size of the consumer base for environmentally responsible products and services. LOHAS stands for “Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability” consumers.
Pictured above: “The Triple Bottom Line” – sustainable winegrowing is not only environmentally positive and socially equitable, it also represents growing economic feasibility. This is an increasing trend as sustainable wine gain popularity in the marketplace with consumers.
First and foremost, they characterized 31% of all LOHAS as wine consumers. Some 43% of LOHAS have purchased wine in the past 3 months and 26% of all wine consumers are categorized as LOHAS. More than half of LOHAS consider the “environment” in wine purchases and 64% identify “eco-friendly attributes” of wine at the point of purchase. This means that known considerations of branding, certifications and, possibly, regions that are associated with “sustainability” are being identified as consumers make purchase choices while shopping.
This past October, The Wine Institute also conducted a short survey with 59 corporate entities on sustainable wine considerations. They included Disney, Hyatt, California Pizza Kitchen, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Target, Whole Food and many more. An important conclusion was that sustainability is considered a “factor” for wine purchases across all trade segments surveyed. Some 37% indicated that it factored “frequently” or “very frequently” and 86% said that it was at least an “occasional” factor. The key drivers identified were due to customer requests and personal values with organizational goals also factoring into the equation, but to a lesser extent. Additionally, 71% of respondents said that certification programs were perceived as “helpful” in the purchasing process.
It seems clear that consumer awareness, perceptions and favorable views of sustainably produced wines are changing the marketplace. This trend is driving wineries, wholesalers, on-premise and retailers to take notice. Importantly, it is having a significant effect on their purchasing decisions. Another important factor is that groups, such as The Wine Institute, are firmly behind the sustainability trend and are aggressively promoting regions and brands that embrace it.
It is critical for winegrape growers to stay ahead of this trend. It is also a great time to do so with the numerous resources available to become California Certified Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) recognized through the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA.) The Lake County Winegrape Commission and CSWA are offering rebates, coaching and other resources to assist with the process. Additionally, CSWA’s new 3rd edition of their self-assessment workbook, a key tool in the process, is being released. It has been streamlined, it’s easier to use and less redundant. There has never been a better time to get certified!
To assist growers, the LCWC will be holding a “Grower Tailgate Meeting” on Thursday, February 21st where many issues and practices will be discussed. Be on the lookout here and on the Commission’s website for more specifics and how you can participate. More about the LCWC’s sustainable program can be seen here…