Original Research

The importance of wine attributes in an emerging wine-producing country

Chris Pentz, Alexandra Forrester
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 51, No 1 | a1932 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v51i1.1932 | © 2020 Chris Pentz, Alexandra Forrester | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 January 2020 | Published: 25 August 2020

About the author(s)

Chris Pentz, Department of Business Management, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Alexandra Forrester, Department of Business Management, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


Purpose: This article investigated and compared the relative importance of 14 wine attributes on the wine-purchasing behaviour of South African consumers of different generational groups.

Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from 646 South African wine consumers by means of a structured online questionnaire. Respondents were divided into two main age groups, 18–40 years of age and 41 years and older. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, best–worst scaling and independent sample t-tests.

Findings/results: Results showed that there were both similarities and differences in the relative importance of wine attributes between the two age groups investigated. Both groups regarded the previous tasting of a wine and recommendations by others as the two most important wine attributes when purchasing wine for their own consumption. An in-store promotional display of wines was regarded as the least important wine attribute by the older cohort, whereas an alcohol level below 13% was rated by the younger cohort as the least important wine attribute.

Practical implications: The findings contribute to a deeper understanding of wine-purchasing behaviour in the emerging wine-producing countries. Results can be used by marketing managers to create more effective marketing strategies to increase wine sales in South Africa amongst different age groups.

Originality or value: This study is a pioneering venture, given the absence of published knowledge on the possible generational differences in the wine consumer behaviour of South Africans.


wine attributes; consumer behaviour; South Africa; generational groups; marketing strategies.


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