Français  English 

Meeting consumer expectations

What does the consumer want? Faced with recent statistics revealing both a reduction in consumption in the traditional producer nations (France, Italy, Spain, Argentina …) and of increased competition driven by an intensification of global business, it has become vital for any wine producer to adopt market reflexes by developing an awareness of customer needs before deciding on the appropriate technological processes. 

Now, on the 3 largest world wine markets (U.S., France and the U.K.) women customers outnumber men, they are occasional consumers and are mostly young. 

They mainly buy « pleasure giving » wines in local outlets and supermarkets.  Those so-called premium wines, selling from 2€ to 6€ on retail displays, are at the core of international competition. On this market segment competition is fierce especially in the UK market with its predilection for Australian wines.


What does the customer expect for?Consumers are predominantly looking for fresh and fruity wines that are easy to drink and recognize. Consumer surveys reveal that the greater the aromatic intensity of a wine, the greater the appreciation. Those occasional wine consumers targeted by the trade are also very demanding purchasers. In other words, the smallest defect (lack of sharpness in the nose, unauthentic taste, bitterness…) leads to a loss of customers. The so-called « seduction » or « fun » wines must be elaborated in such a way as to entice you to taste them again thus procuring greater shares of the world market for operators.

Against a competitive backdrop of customers buying less but better quality, campaigns to seduce that demanding, occasional consumer cannot be ignored.


How can such a wine be produced?One wine quality criterion particularly highlighted by the consumer is its fruity character. In the case of white wines and rosés that fruity character is often associated with natural plant aromas. One of today’s most famous grape varieties is the Sauvignon with its typical notes of box-tree, blackcurrant, exotic fruit and citrus fruit derived from the presence of volatile thiols. Designated 4-MMP, 3-MH and A3-MH, those molecules originate from aromatic precursors located in the grape pulp and skin and metabolized during alcoholic fermentation. Those compounds are particularly sensitive to oxidation, so white wine must be protected from oxygen after fermentation.  

Even though the inert gas injection of must is not yet an extensively used process, there is awareness that hyperoxygenation or even merely the absence of protection of must from oxidation greatly affects the aromas of Sauvignon blanc (Dubourdieu and Lavigne, 1990).

Pressing : a critical phase…