Sensory analysis drives sales?

The organic production techniques are increasing wine worldwide, due to the ever-growing awareness of the consumer and to a greater attention to the environment on manufacturing company’s side. Also, it is most often the best expression of both the grape and also the terroir, the land and environment in which it is grown.

Chianti DOCG is one of the symbolic wines of the Italian tradition.

Produced in the homonymous territory, in Tuscany, its existence dates back to medieval times. Since 1927, the producers of this fine wine have been united in a Consortium: “Consorzio del Vino Chianti” that nowadays contributes to its promotion, making it known all over the world.
One of the companies from the Consortium decided to partner with Smart Sensory Solutions with the goal to be the first Tuscan winery to achieve the “Organic” certification in Brasile.
The result was achieved through a clever use of consumer analysis techniques and thanks to the combined work of several profiles within the company: from the oenologist to the export manager to the quality control experts. In this way, the winery has managed to start the distribution of its bottles in Brazil and to support its importers in the various sales phases.
The exported wines’ denomination are Toscano Rosso IGT, Toscano Bianco IGT and the Chianti DOCG which is produced with organic techniques. This latter label matches an increasing consumer sensitivity towards environmental issues and sustainable production techniques. Awareness of new market trends remains an important starting point in the launch of export strategies.

Analyse, decide, plan. The applications of Sensory Analysis to marketing.

Before making an investment that will necessarily imply some changes in the production methods of the company, it is necessary to make sure that the market recognizes an added value and that it is also willing to pay a premium price for a bottle of organic wine compared to another bottle, bearing the same denomination, but manufactured with the ordinary criteria.
Therefore, at the behest of the Export Manager Matteo Sorelli, the company started a testing program with the end customer, adopting consumer science techniques in collaboration with Smart Sensory Solutions.

Consumer tests: which wine should we export?

The test took place during an event with a panel of Brazilian consumers. The panel manager applied the following methods to understand consumer’s perception of organic wine:

  • Liking scale: listen to consumers’ opinions to launch the best organic wine in the market (in 9 points hedonic scale). Example: How much did you like this wine?

  • Descriptive notes: understand the sensory profile of the organic wine to create a concept using consumer’s words and feelings in a CATA (Check-all-that-apply) test. Some attributes examples: fermented, cooked, fresh, green, body, red fruits, jelly, nuts, balanced taste, complexity to smell.

  • Emotional understanding: translate into words the feelings that best describe emotional benefits elicited by the wine using a CATA scale). Emotions examples: happy, sad, excited, pleased, tired.

  • Organic concept: understand the importance of the “ organic ” brand and how much this can influence the final purchase choice with questions of agreement as well as likes & dislikes.

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