Wine Market Council Issues Their First $10,000 Wine Research Grant to Texas Tech University PhD Candidate Nicholas Johnston

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Under the grant Johnston will research how Millennials respond to traditional and less traditional wine packaging and he will present his findings at the 2016 Wine Market Council Consumer Research Conferences

Wine Market Council is dedicated to investigating timely issues in the wine industry and what better way to do that than to foster new wine-related research from the graduate students who are studying wine-related topics,” said John Gillespie.

Wine Market Council today announced that the non-profit has awarded its first-ever research grant to Texas Tech University doctoral student, Nicholas Johnston, who will receive $10,000 from the council to research how Millennials respond to traditional and less traditional wine packaging. Johnston will present his findings at Wine Market Council’s 2016 Consumer research conferences taking place March 7, 2016, in New York and March 10, 2016, in Napa.

“Wine Market Council is dedicated to investigating timely issues in the wine industry and what better way to do that than to foster new wine-related research from the graduate students who are studying wine-related topics,” said John Gillespie, President of Wine Market Council. “We were very impressed by Nicholas’ research expertise, his strong interest in wine, as well as the commitment of his advisor, associate professor Natalia Velikova. We look forward to the fresh insights this project will bring to a topic of growing importance.”

As part of a quest to foster new wine-related research, Wine Market Council invited graduate-level students from around the country to apply for the grant this year. Any student enrolled in a graduate-level program at an accredited university doing research on a wine business or wine market related topic was encouraged to submit a proposal. The council’s grant committee carefully reviewed the submitted proposals and chose three finalists who presented their research proposals to the Wine Market Council committee via WebEx. The council was looking for exceptional students who have the capability of conducting research on topics of interest to the Wine Market Council’s membership and the wine industry as a whole.

Proposals were required to include a student background, a detailed description of the research project, the methodology to be used, how grant money would be used, why students felt the research to be conducted would be of importance to the wine industry, and a description of how the resulting data would be presented in a final report.

For his research, Johnston will divide Millennials, ranging from 21 to 38 years of age, into two or three segments and will conduct focus groups within those segments in early September. His goal is to find out what appeals to these groups in terms of wine packaging and he will craft an online survey that will be distributed to Millennials nationwide in early October. His final research will be submitted to Wine Market Council by the end of the year and he will present his findings at both of the Wine Market Council Consumer research conferences taking place in March 2016.

Announcing the 2016 Wine Market Council Conferences
The 2016 Wine Market Council research conferences will take place on on Monday, March 7, 2016, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY, and on Thursday, March 10, 2016, at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville, CA. Registration for the conferences will begin Fall 2015.

About Nicholas Johnston
Nicholas Johnston is starting his final year in the hospitality administration graduate program in the Department of Hospitality and Retail Management at Texas Tech University. He has studied consumer behavior for years, most recently in a research setting but for several years before that as a bartender. When he saw a request for proposals from Wine Market Council, a nonprofit group of growers, producers, importers and wholesalers, regarding how to market wine, he and associate professor Natalia Velikova, who also is associate director of the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute, put together a grant proposal to find out what kind of containers catches the millennial generation’s dollars.

About Wine Market Council
Wine Market Council is a non-profit association of grape growers, wine producers, importers, wholesalers, retailers, and other affiliated wine businesses and organizations. The council’s mission is to grow, strengthen, and stabilize the wine market in the U.S. on behalf of all segments of the industry. Wine Market Council provides its members with consumer research that is proprietary to Wine Market Council members, who incorporate it into their strategic planning, marketing and sales execution. Wine Market Council was established in 1994 as a non-profit (501c6) trade association working through all tiers of the U.S. wine industry to grow the wine market. More information can be found at WineMarketCouncil.com and on Twitter @WineMktCouncil.

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