This study offers new insights into the sustainable wine market by exploring consumers’ perceptions of product attributes for six categories of wine that have characteristics of sustainability and one conventional wine. The study investigates product-attribute associations that French and Italian consumers attach to sustainable wines, and whether consumers’ involvement with wine and propensity towards ethically-minded behaviours affect their perceptions of sustainable wines. The research employs a cross-country analysis of France and Italy, and uses a free-choice approach to reveal consumers’ perceptions. The perceptual maps highlight the different attribute dimensions associated with conventional wines and sustainable wines. Health benefits, taste, and ethics emerge as the most relevant discriminant dimensions. The study finds that consumers involved with wine demonstrate a greater ability to evaluate product-attribute associations for sustainable wines than do ethically-minded consumers who are not involved with wine. The study elaborates some practical implications of this result for wineries. In particular, the study highlights that consumers associate different characteristics and beneficial aspects with different categories of sustainable wines; this also depends on their level of involvement with wine. The results demonstrate that sustainable wine marketers should, in their marketing and communication, take into stronger consideration the level of consumer involvement with wine and the specific associations made by consumers with the sustainable wine category they want to promote.
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