Cahier 2018-22

Title:Resistant grape varieties and market acceptance:an evaluation based on experimental economics
Abstract:We analyze consumers’ evaluations of white wines from resistant varieties, produced in the Languedoc winegrowing region of France (2016 vintage). We use the results from a laboratory experiment performed in Paris in June 2017, where a panel of more than one hundred and sixty consumers, regular buyers of this type of wine, were asked to evaluate a wine of the Bouquet 3159 grape variety (monogenic variety resistant to mildew and powdery mildew and optimized for quality) and compare it with two conventional wines of different quality levels, and with a certified organic wine of similar type and price. The environmental and health performances and the production methods of the different wines were quantified according to several indicators: treatment frequency indicator (TFI) and pesticide residue analysis. The consumers first evaluated the wines after tasting, having been given only a minimum amount of information about the region of origin and the vintage, then again after receiving information on production methods and the levels of our indicators. The method used to lend credibility to individual valuations used experimental economics, via a mechanism based on direct disclosure of their willingness to pay (maximum purchase price for a bottle of wine according to available information). The results showed that, on a purely sensory level, consumers had difficulty in accepting wine from a resistant variety. We were then able to see that communication focusing on environmental and health performances very much improved the position of the resistant variety of wine, putting it ultimately at the top of the average qualitative evaluations. In economic terms, we show that this promotion results in high market share, gained from conventional wines. Market share losses were lower, however, for the premium conventional wine, suggesting that the higher quality wines would be less directly challenged by wines produced from resistant varieties.
Keyword(s):Wine, Resistant varieties, Treatment frequency indicator, Pesticide residue analysis, Willingness to pay, Experimental economics.
Auteur(s) :Alejandro Fuentes Espinoza, Anne Hubert, Yann Raineau, Céline Franc, Eric Giraud-Héraud
JEL Class.:D12, Q11,Q13,Q16

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