Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of extrinsic cues on wine consumer’s willingness to pay (WTP) based on a blind tasting experiment conducted in Hong Kong. Design/methodology/approach: Using data from a three-stage blind wine tasting experiment, the authors examine how an average consumer’s WTP for a bottle of wine changes as a result of knowing prior to tasting extrinsic information such as the country of origin or grape variety of an otherwise identical product. Findings: The findings of this study align with previous research that finds subjective utility experienced by tasters can be significantly influenced by the belief or information given prior to the tasting. Sub-group analysis using a stratified sample based on the frequency of wine consumption and the wine taster’s prior experience with wine (grouped into expert and novice categories) suggests that it is the novice consumers that have a stronger response to the pre-tasting knowledge when evaluating wine. Experienced wine consumers, on the other hand, do not seem to respond strongly to the pre-tasting knowledge of the extrinsic attributes in their evaluation of wine. Originality/value: The studies of taste preference and role of extrinsic characteristics in wine evaluation and consumption in the rapidly growing Asian market is increasingly important for the wine industry. The evidence from this study suggests the importance for producers and marketers to consider consumer heterogeneity and product differentiation when pricing and distributing their wine.
- Blind wine tasting experiment
- Extrinsic cues
- Novice and experts
- Willingness to pay