The effects of natural cork, synthetic cork, and screwcap closures on the purchase intent and price expectation of wine consumers was examined for two commercial wines, a Chardonnay and a Merlot. Consumer purchase behavior was measured in a taste survey where participants tasted and rated the wines twice: once when the closure information was not known and a second time when the closure information was revealed. Causal effects were evaluated for impact on purchase behavior when the closure information was revealed using ordinary least squares regression, logistic regression models, and path analysis. Liking rating for the wine was the most important variable to impact purchase intent. The effect of liking on purchase intent was positive where there was ~10% higher probability of buying the wine for a 1-unit increase in liking rating; type of closure had only limited impact on purchase intent. The results for price expectation are different than for purchase intent in that liking did not impact expected price; quality had the greatest impact. For the expected price models, results indicated that consumers expected to pay significantly less for a bottle with a screwcap for both wines. The significant negative effect of the screwcap on expected price relative to synthetic and natural corks indicated a direct negative effect. However, the positive correlation of natural cork and negative correlation of screwcap with quality rating indicated that closure type also impacts expected price indirectly through consumer perception of quality.
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