This study investigated South African wine consumers’ knowledge of wine (objective- and subjective knowledge) and their consumer self-confidence (CSC) when selecting wine in different sales contexts (off-premise and on-premise locations). Demographic differences, specifically gender, age, income and population group differences were also investigated. A non-experimental, survey-based (using a structured, electronic questionnaire), cross-sectional research design was followed to gather empirical evidence. The questionnaire was distributed throughout South Africa and data was collected by means of non-probability, convenience sampling: 690 completed and usable questionnaires were obtained. Quantitative data analysis included descriptive statistics, t-tests, ANOVA’s, post hoc Scheffe tests as well as exploratory factor analysis.
In terms of their wine knowledge, the study found that wine consumers overall had above average subjective and objective knowledge. Results indicate that males, Baby Boomers, high-income consumers and white consumers possess significantly more objective knowledge. Being male and having a high income were found to be predictors of higher subjective knowledge about wine. Three as opposed to six factors as is the case for the original Wine Self-confidence Scale, were extracted through exploratory factor analysis (EFA) for both sales contexts. The first two factors for both sales contexts included similar scale items, while the third factor differed. The factors of off-premise locations were named F1 Decision Confidence, F2 Apprehension and F3 Coaxing Knowledge. The factors of on-premise locations were named F1 Proficiency, F2 Apprehension and F3 Social Outcomes. Persuasion knowledge seemed more important at off-premise locations whereas social outcomes appeared to be more important at on-premise locations. Wine consumers overall possessed an average or above average CSC for all dimensions of the construct. Similar to objective wine knowledge, men, Baby Boomers, high income consumers and white consumers’ CSC was significantly higher in both sales contexts.
Academic implications of the findings include revisiting the WSCS and adapting it to the South African context as well as for different sales contexts. Establishing South African wine consumers’ knowledge of wine also serves as a reference point for future research. Investigating the demographic differences in terms of the influence on consumers’ wine knowledge and CSC provide new information and a better understanding ofo South African wine consumers’ behaviour.
A better understanding of South African wine consumers will be useful to retailers, foodservice operation managers, -owners and marketers to implement unique, purposefully designed marketing strategies to meet the needs of all of these consumer segments more appropriately. In addition, providing adequate and specific information at point-of-sale, will reduce the risk or discomfort associated with wine purchase decisions.
Keywords: Wine Knowledge, Subjective Knowledge, Objective Knowledge, Consumer Self-Confidence
Dissertation (MConsumer Science)--University of Pretoria, 2018.