Wine Consumer Behaviour & Trends Research Services

Launching the Sirocco Insights

Sirocco food and wine consulting is launching Sirocco Insights, new consumer behaviour  and trends research services to help wineries and wine retailers collect reliable consumer preference data and engage their customer base.

Customer data and analytics are critical for business growth. Research shows that product enjoyment as well as taste are determining factors that impact customers’ repeat purchasing decisions. From intercept interviews, focus groups, directed wine tastings, Sirocco Insights help support your business strategy and improve sales.

Engage your customers by adding a sensory dimension to your customer care program.

Sirocco Insights

Customer insights are critical for business growth. Our team can help you collect and interpret valid consumer data to support your marketing strategy and boost sales.

The Sirocco Insights are based on internationally recognised consumer research and sensory evaluation methods. Intercept surveys and wine tastings aim to answer simple questions. Which wine(s) do our customers prefer? When a change in winemaking or grape selection is made, does it impact the aroma, flavour, taste of our wines? Can our customers notice the difference? Should we pursue these efforts? Are these efforts generating more sales? The directed tastings are led by wine educators and wine consumer analysts. Tastings are engaging, educational and add to the wine tasting experience.

Examples of consumer research studies

Investigating emerging trends (i.e. natural wines, orange wines, variations of Rosé wine, cannabis-infused wines). Service formats include intercept interviews, small focus groups and  online surveys sent to your email list.

Investigating customer segments

Do you know your customer base well? What are the consumer preferences of 19-34 year olds?

Investigating wine defects

Can your customer detect smoke taint? What is their reaction to it? Is blending an option?

Optimizing wine blending

What wine blend(s) do your customers prefer? Do they perceive added value in some blends?

Making a packaging/label change

Does a new label, cork or a screw cap make a difference to your customer? Is the taste of the wine aligned with wine packaging?

Changing winemaking practices

Does added acidity or a new oak regime change the perception of the wine? Do your customer appreciate or accept the change? How does the degree of malolactic fermentation or new yeast inoculation affect the flavour and body of the wine? Which wine(s) are your customers willing to buy?

How Do We Work?

  • We provide a free consultation by conference call or face-to-face to discuss your project objectives. Services are tailored to business needs and budgets.
  • Directed wine tastings
    • Conducted on site (retail store or tasting room)
    • Winery/Retailer provides glassware and wine tasting utensils
    • Client provides a comfortable setting to allow for a quality wine tasting (free of distractions)
    • Wine educators/consumer analysts conduct informed tastings, engage consumers and collect data
  • Consumer data is analysed. Insights are discussed with you and your team.

Note: wine tastings may be scheduled and customized based on your business needs (wine festival events, wine club events, providing participants with discounts or other benefits). Sirocco Food and Wine Consulting is a bonded company located in Kelowna, BC.

We are now booking for 2019! Contact us to schedule your free consultation.


Karine Lawrence

Karine Lawrence, Sirocco Owner and Principal, has worked for the wine and food industry for over 20 years and brings an extensive working knowledge in Sensory Evaluation of food and wine, and Quality Management. Since 2014, she has been a wine instructor at Okanagan College (Penticton campus) and has provided research and consulting services to food and wine industry stakeholders in Canada and the United States. Karine holds a Master of Food Science degree as well as a diplôme d’ingénieur (specialized in agri-food industries). She is a member of the Society of Sensory Professionals.

Darcen Esau

Darcen is a market researcher specializing in both consumer behavior and sensory evaluation. With over a decade of experience designing and implementing research studies, he is currently working at the University of British Columbia Okanagan to better understand the sensory experience of wine and how this impacts consumer decision making.

Previously, as the Associate Vice President at Ipsos, he designed and implemented consumer behavior and product understanding studies for clients throughout North America. As an experienced moderator and facilitator, this included dozens of qualitative projects, including focus groups, IDI’s, shop-alongs, and ethnographies. Additionally, he has designed and conducted dozens of quantitative studies, many of which utilize advanced analytics like Implicit Association, TURF, Discrete Choice Modelling and MaxDiff.

As a Panel Leader for Sensory Spectrum Inc., he led descriptive analysis panels to understand the sensory experience of consumer products, a skillset he continues to implement with wine panel research across Canada.

Authored publications

Peña, C., Joy, A., & Lawrence, K. (2019). Rebranding wine using sensory profiling data: A case study. In Case Studies in the Wine Industry (pp. 115-128). Woodhead Publishing.

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Other publications

Joy, A., Grohmann, B., & Peña, C. (2019). Preliminary thoughts on the importance of sensory profiling for strategic decision-making in Canadian wineries. In Case Studies in the Wine Industry (pp. 167-179). Woodhead Publishing.

Grohmann, B., Peña, C., & Joy, A. (2018). Wine quality and sensory assessments: do distinct local groups of wine experts differ?. Journal of Wine Research, 1-12.