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Abstract

Millennials are the largest demographic segment in the USA (Wine Market Council, 2016) and have gained market share of high frequency wine drinkers while Baby Boomers and Gen-X generations are falling in market share (Franson, 2016). This demographic evolution in wine market composition has focused industry attention on expanding understanding of Millennial wine drinkers preferences as an important marketing dynamic. At the same time the wine industry has seen significant establishment of sustainable certification systems as preferences for sustainability have developed and been recognised as an avenue for product diversification in a highly competitive global market. While there is a recognition that preferences for the types of attributes sustainability programmes can deliver may differ between generations, scant research has explored this segmentation. This paper reports on the application of a discrete choice experiment with the objective of comparing generational preferences for individual components of sustainability schemes active in the Californian Sauvignon blanc market. We find consumption behaviour and attribute preference differences over age cohorts. A central finding is that Millennial consumers are willing to pay more for sustainability attributes than both Gen-X and Baby Boomers, while conversely Baby Boomers are willing to pay more for country of origin attributes than both Gen-X or Millennials.

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