Purpose: The aim of this paper is to explore the differences in behaviour between heavy and light wine buyers. This is conducted by comparing heavy and light buyers of wine in terms of their repertoires including the size, purchase frequency and market shares across brands, as well as loyalty exhibited towards particular wine attributes. Design/methodology/approach: Using panel data of wine purchases in the UK for each buyer group (light and heavy) market shares and loyalty to wine attributes were examined. The polarisation index φ (phi) was used as a measure of loyalty. Findings: The light buyers’ market share for small brands is slightly greater than for the heavy wine buyers. Moreover, attributes such as brand type and brand share seem to drive loyalty more than expected for light wine buyers in comparison to heavy wine buyers. Practical implications: Despite their small purchase volume and contribution to a brand’s sales, light wine buyers comprise an important target group for small share wine brands. Winemakers of small brands should acknowledge this fact, trying to meet expectations of light buyers as well. In addition, direct marketing strategies could be adapted for each group individually based on the attributes that drive greater loyalty for each group.
Wine; Heavy buyers; Light buyers; Repetoire; Market share; Loyalty; MAPP
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6th International Conference of the Academy of Wine Business Research, 2011