Evidence suggests a relation between alcohol consumption and increased Body Mass Index (BMI) and obesity risk among young adults (Berkey et al., 2008; Vågstrand et al., 2007). While policy regulations related to responsible drinking have been severely implemented, limited attention has been given to the potential impact of excess calories intake due to alcoholic beverage consumption. The European Commission (EC) has recently presented a report (i.e. COM(2017)58), encouraging the alcoholic beverage industry to present a self-voluntary proposal. However, an European legal framework regarding nutritional information of alcoholic beverages does not yet exist. The effect of label information on consumers’ purchase behavior has been particularly investigated in the wine sector, given the high variety of quality cues that characterize this product. However a limited number of studies has investigated how nutritional information may affect consumers’ wine choices (Kypri et al. 2007, Thomson et al. 2012, Bui et al., 2008; Annunziata et al. 2016; Vecchio et al. 2018).
Moreover, these studies limited the attention to health-related aspects, such as health warnings. Thus, to the best of our knowledge, the question of how information about calories content may affect consumers’ evaluation for wine quality cues has not been investigated yet. In addition, previous studies did not consider how a change in calories content may influence individuals’ wine choice behavior. In order to fill this knowledge gap, we conducted an online survey on Italian red wine consumers, which contained a Choice Experiment (CE) that allowed us to elicit consumers’ mWTP for different characteristics on a bottle of Italian red wine. Moreover, using a between-subject treatment approach, we were able to assess whether reporting calories information on a bottle of wine affects consumer preference formation.
Specifically, we used “clean labels” (e.g. sustainable production labels) as attributes in question since nowadays consumers have gained an increased attention towards cues which may embed a meaning of “naturalness” (Asioli et al., 2018). Preliminary results show that nutritional information did impact on consumers’ evaluations for different wine cues. Interestingly we observed a general increase in mWTP for quality cues, suggesting that consumers value positively the nutritional information, even at an increase of calories content. This is relevant for policy makers and wine producers who might find encouragement from our results in adopting nutritional information.
Dr. Bazzani is Assistant Professor at the Department of Business Administration, University of Verona. Before joining the University of Verona in May 2017, Dr. Bazzani has been Post-Doctoral research associate at the University of Arkansas since September 2015. She holds a Ph.D. degree in “Agricultural and Food Policy and Economics” from the University of Bologna. During her PhD program she was Visiting Scholar at the University of Arkansas (August 2013–June 2014) and at the Korea University (October 2014–December 2014). She has published in Italian and International journals including Economic Inquiry, European Review of Agricultural Economics, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Agricultural Economics and Food Quality and Preference.
Dr. Bazzani’s research interests endeavor center on the use of quantitative methods, specifically choice experiments and experimental auctions, to investigate behavioral reasoning of consumer food choices and how these choices affect food systems, supply chains, and policy decisions. Since she has joined the University of Verona, she also developed interest for the analysis of consumer behavior towards beer and wine products.