Consumers “Confused” by Cellared in Canada Wine Designation

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Fewer than one in five Canadian wine drinkers can recognize and correctly understand the term “Cellared in Canada”, according to a new poll of wine drinkers in Canada.

Fewer than one in five Canadian wine drinkers can recognize and correctly understand the term “Cellared in Canada”, according to a new poll of wine drinkers in Canada.

The study, conducted by specialist market research agency Wine Intelligence, also found that the majority – 64% - of Canadian wine drinkers don’t even recognize the term “Cellared in Canada” when they see it.

Of the 36% of Canadian consumers who are aware of the term, about half correctly state that a wine carrying the Cellared in Canada designation is made from a combination of Canadian and foreign grapes, or from all imported grapes (the definition in British Columbia), which have been blended and bottled in Canada.

Wine Intelligence surveyed over 1,000 regular wine drinkers in Canada during October and November 2009. The survey was conducted online, using Wine Intelligence’s Vinitrac® Global consumer survey platform. The study was funded entirely by the agency itself, and was not sponsored.

The news comes as battle lines are being drawn between different elements of the Canadian wine industry over wines carrying the Cellared in Canada (CIC) designation, which are currently sold in the “Canadian Wine” section of government-run liquor stores.

On one side are large Canadian wine brand owners, who support CIC because it allows them to produce wines that can compete at lower price points with imports. On the other side are small and medium sized Canadian wine producers, producing wines that are wholly sourced from Canadian grapes, who argue that CIC is damaging the reputation of their wines and represents unfair and misleading competition.

“Cellared in Canada wines have become a hot topic in the wine industry both in Canada and globally,” said Canadian national Erika Neudorf, Senior Project Executive at Wine Intelligence. “The trade have strong opinions on the issue, but we wanted to know how consumers really feel about these wines.”

As part of the survey, Wine Intelligence told consumers what the term Cellared in Canada means, and just over half of the respondents think that this term is inappropriate. Of these consumers who are not happy with the term, 65% want to see the country of origin of the wine and percentage stated on the label. However the survey also found that 48% of Canadian consumers are quite happy with the status quo, and did not want to see the term Cellared in Canada disappear.

“I think it’s fair to say that the term Cellared in Canada is currently not helping Canadian wine drinkers make a very informed choice,” said Richard Halstead, COO of Wine Intelligence. “The sooner we see some clarification and reform in this area, the better off consumers will be.”

About Wine Intelligence Ltd    

Wine Intelligence is the leading research-led strategy consultancy serving the global wine industry. It conducts client-specific research projects to enable companies to gain greater insights into wine markets and wine consumers, and helps business leaders develop business strategy and marketing plans. The company also assists businesses in developing new brands, and in formulating and communicating marketing messages within the industry. For more information, please visit http://www.wineintelligence.com.

For more information about this press release, please contact:

Erika Neudorf
Wine Intelligence Ltd
+44 (0) 20 089 3890        

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