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Wine Market Council Research Reveals What Consumers Think About Ingredient and Nutrition Labels on Wine


With new national and international regulations on the horizon in 2023, WMC research highlights consumers’ perceptions of ingredients and nutritional information on wine and competitive products

February 3rd – Napa Valley, California — The Wine Market Council (https://winemarketcouncil.com) announces its latest research on consumer perceptions and understandings of ingredient and nutrition labeling on wine. With new national and international regulations on the horizon, and polarizing opinions from various sectors staking out positions, this research reveals how wine consumers feel about ingredients and nutritional information on wine and competitive products.

“While many opinions exist on the degree to which nutritional and ingredient labeling is good or bad for the industry, we believe it is important to understand the subject through the lens of the consumer,” said Christian Miller, Director of Research at Wine Market Council.

This survey was conducted in September and October of 2022 on 500 core (drink wine at least weekly) and 500 marginal wine consumers, distributed closely by gender and age to the U.S. standards established by the WMC Benchmark Segmentation Study in 2021-2022. With Wine Market Council’s latest research, it has uncovered the following: 

The influence/importance of ingredient lists, and nutrition labels, is much lower for beverage alcohol than other food/drinks; but this difference is significantly smaller among younger consumers. 

Of wine consumers who have not seen an ingredient list on wine, two in five think wine should have an ingredient list. One quarter does not feel necessary, and the rest are indifferent. 

By a large margin, wine consumers believe wine has the fewest ingredients, compared to beer and especially hard seltzers or cocktails. 

When shown a list of ingredients in two wines, most respondents negatively perceived Sulfur Dioxide. Only SO2 and Tartaric Acid have more negative than positive responses. 

For both nutrition and ingredient information, between 1/4 and 1/3 of the wine consumers who have not seen this information on wine packages assume there are different labeling requirements for alcoholic beverages. Over ¼ had not noticed they were missing until the survey. Only 16% thought the wine was nutritionally worse than other drinks or that producers didn’t want to disclose something. 

Almost half of the wine drinkers perceive wine as high in sugar, second only to RTDs. In contrast, wine is seen as significantly lower in carbohydrates and calories (lower than RTDs or beer) and artificial ingredients (lower than RTDs and Hard Seltzer). On average, consumers think a 5 oz. pour of wine is about 145 calories; answers ranged from 50 to 250, with one quarter estimating a typical serving containing 200 or more (much higher than most table wines).

The price of the wine did not influence most consumers’ thoughts on the number of ingredients, i.e., they did not associate more or fewer ingredients with lower or higher-priced wines. 

In December 2022, Wine Market Council’s Director of Research, Christian Miller, reported on the recent study’s results alongside Justin McGuirk, Senior Counsel for the Wine Institute, who explained where the wine industry is in the legislative process. Jeannie Bremer, Vice President of Compliance and Public Policy for The Wine Group, also explained what this means for individual wineries. 

For anyone interested in meeting members of the Wine Market Council, the team will be presenting at the 2023 Unified Wine Symposium in Sacramento, California, on January 26th, Wine Industry Network-Bold Predictions virtual event on February 8th, Women for WineSense “Connect Symposium” at St. Helena’s historic Charles Krug Winery on February 9th, Washington Wine Growers Market in Kennewick, Washington, on February 9th, and Oregon Wine Symposium Market in Portland, Oregon, on February 15th.

About Wine Market Council Research 

The Wine Market Council conducts research on the attitudes and behaviors of U.S. wine consumers, measuring and exploring industry trends from the consumer perspective. It also provides national wine consumption benchmarks for various segments of the population.  

About The Wine Market Council  

The Wine Market Council was established in 1994 as a non-profit (501c6) trade association whose mission is to provide our members with forward-looking market research on the ever-changing U.S. wine consumer’s buying habits, attitudes, and motivations. Members cover a wide range of the industry and affiliates, ranging from growers and wineries through the distribution system to retailers, restaurateurs, and organizations affiliated with winemaking. More information can be found at WineMarketCouncil.com

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