VINELAND, ON – A new study commissioned by the Wine Council of Ontario (WCO) reports that wine consumers in the GTA and Ottawa are strongly interested in purchasing sustainable, local wine and are willing to pay a premium to drink wine that is “eco-friendly.”
The 2016 study, funded in part through the federal-provincial-territorial initiative, Growing Forward 2 (GF2), polled wine drinkers in the GTA and Ottawa and found that 56% (GTA) and 46% (Ottawa) of respondents said that production using sustainable best practices has at least some positive influence on their purchase decisions; these numbers were even higher with the millennial age group (ages 19-34).
The survey also found that public understanding of “sustainable wine” is most strongly linked to a view that such products are environmentally friendly, eco-friendly or “green” and that Ontarians in both studied markets are willing to pay a premium for wine products that are certified as sustainable. The research revealed, however, that the public has only some understanding of the term “sustainable” suggesting there is an opportunity for more public education by wine growers and producers.
“The research is clear: Ontarians expect and want local wine growers and producers to go green,” said Richard Linley, President of the WCO. “Our industry is responding by continually adopting environmentally sustainable practices to ensure we adhere to the social standard expected of us. The study provides us with a strengthened social and business rationale to pursue sustainable wine development as well as ongoing public education that ensures Ontarians are fully aware of the environmental and social benefits of buying local, Ontario wine.”
The survey also looked at a number of other factors including: wine consumption and purchasing behavior, sustainable wine availability and an associated certification program, interest in purchasing sustainable wine, pricing, product labelling, and an understanding of the difference between “sustainable wine” and “organic wine.”
The GF2 funded research compounds another recent study by the BLOOM Centre of Sustainability that showed a strong commitment to sustainability by Ontario winemakers.
The survey also conducted LCBO Intercept Interviews to provide further context and on-the-ground anecdotes to strengthen the collected data.
Wine Council of Ontario
This project is funded by Growing Forward 2 a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
The WCO leads the growth and profitability of Ontario’s respected VQA wine sector – through strategic partnership and authoritative trusted advocacy. As a non-profit trade association, the WCO represents over 100 wineries from across the three designated viticultural areas of the province (Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore – including Pelee Island) as well as emerging wine producing regions such as Ontario’s South Coast and Georgian Bay/Grey County. Our members are independently owned small and medium sized enterprises – grape growers, manufacturers and leaders in tourism in their communities. Our members are the future of Ontario’s wine industry which is a source of new investment, jobs and award-winning wines.