Glass is the most commonly used packaging for wine worldwide. However, one of the main causes of environmental impacts of the wine life cycle is the production of glass bottles due to the high incidence of its weight and the consequent huge consumption of energy for its production. Using lighter packaging alternatives (such as bag-in-box, aseptic carton or PET bottles) significantly decreases the environmental impact of the wine life cycle. In Italy, there is widespread scepticism towards wine bottled in alternative packaging. For this reason, this study presents a preliminary survey addressed to a sample of 1000 wine consumers to explore their attitudes and willingness to purchase wine in packaging alternatives that are more sustainable than glass bottles. The results show how most of the respondents (91%) are not willing to consider packaging alternatives for wine and want to buy only wine packaged in glass bottles mainly because they consider alternative packaging not suitable. Despite this, about 62% of them state that they would be willing to re-evaluate the purchase of wine in alternative packaging after being informed that, for most wines, the quality of the wine does not change in alternative packaging and that by using them the wine sustainability could improve. This last sample fraction drinks a little (less than one wine glass a day); their buying choices are affected by neither the main wine features (such as producer company, country of origin and information on label) nor those of the glass bottle (such as weight, colour, and shape). Therefore, this preliminary study has identified and characterized a less traditionalists wine consumer fraction that, therefore, could change their mind regarding the purchasing of wine in alternative packaging. This result shows that these consumers could be favourable towards a greater presence of wine in alternative packaging on the market. This could be a useful hint for wine producers who want to differentiate themselves from competitors by using alternative packaging and gaining interesting market niches.
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