As part of the European observatory of organic wine consumption, the CSA institute and the organisers of the Millésime Bio trade fair in Montpellier surveyed French and European consumers about their perception of organic and sustainable endorsements. Why? Which are the top 10 endorsements and how well known are they? What is the image area of the endorsements? We analyse the results of the survey.
● The purpose of a survey on organic and sustainable endorsements
● Which are the top 10 endorsements?
● How well known are they?
● What is the image area of the endorsements?
● What are the consumer aspirations?
The purpose of a survey on organic and sustainable endorsements
At the end of January 2023, Millésime Bio, the world’s largest organic wine trade fair, celebrates its 30th anniversary. The exhibition unquestionably pioneered the segment at a time when just a clutch of winegrowers were struggling for recognition of a system of farming that treats vines, soils and people with respect. Fast forward to now and there are multiple environmentally-friendly trust marks. “We wanted to find out whether consumers could see the wood for the trees amidst the plethora of endorsements”, says Jeanne Fabre, winegrower and chair of Millésime Bio. She believes that the obvious danger is that “there are too many of them and that they blur the picture for organic and sustainability initiatives”.
Which are the top 10 endorsements?
For the online survey, 4,015 respondents from 4 countries (France, Germany, Belgium and the UK) were quizzed about some 15 national and European endorsements. In the top 10 are the following endorsements: AB, the EU organic leaf logo, No Added Sulphites, High Environmental Value, Vegan, Vignerons Engagés, Terra Vitis, Demeter, CSR and Natural Method Wine.
How well known are they?
Unsurprisingly, the AB and EU organic leaf logos are widely recognised by French wine consumers – 96% recognise the AB label and 87% say they know what it means. 82% recognise the EU leaf logo and 62% say they know what it means. In France, organic endorsements are the best known and recognised, and the most understood. The situation is similar in the other countries included in the survey, although ratings vary: the French and Germans are more aware of the endorsements than the Belgians and particularly the British.
The ‘No Added Sulphites’ endorsement ranks high for awareness with 55% recognition. Next, the High Environmental Value trust mark is recognised by 39%, Vegan by 37%, Vignerons Engagés by 36%, Terra Vitis by 30%, Demeter by 27%, CSR by 25% and Natural Method Wine by 23%.
What is the image area of the endorsements?
European consumers consider that the organic endorsement group ranks best for major criteria such as the non-use of synthetic chemicals, respect for the environment, health protection and the reliability of inspections as well as aroma and flavour quality. Also, when the factors are cross-referenced, organic endorsements stand out compared to the other groups, leading 61% of respondents to consider that a higher price for a wine with an organic endorsement compared with a non-organic wine is justified.
What are consumer aspirations?
Wine consumers claim to be receptive to initiatives that complement organic farming, such as reducing the environmental footprint of packaging and the use of winemaking inputs including sulphites, or distribution channels that are more producer-friendly, if possible local supply chains. In fact, as Sudvinbio chairman Nicolas Richarme points out: “The survey shows that endorsements that certify initiatives taking organic schemes a step further also generate trust. Their growth is a sign of the maturity of the organic industry because it allows companies to explore complementary avenues if they so choose. In fact, many exhibitors at Millésime Bio have dual certifications and can therefore meet the range of expectations and tastes expressed by current consumers”.
Whether products display an endorsement or not, wine consumers predictably aspire to earth-friendly practices.
Anne Schoendoerffer, ©Eléonore H/AdobeStock
Sources : MillésimeBio/Sudvinbio