CONSUMER SATISFACTION, LANGUAGE USE, AND MARKETING TO WOMEN IN THE NEW YORK STATE BEER INDUSTRY AND ANTHOCYANIN PROFILES OF COMMERCIALLY IMPORTANT HYBRID GRAPE CULTIVARS
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The New York State craft brewing industry is growing rapidly, becoming an increasingly crowded field for consumers to navigate and for producers to stand out. Several arms of research were conducted to help breweries understand their consumers better. Surveys of patrons of New York State breweries were used to investigate the connections between consumer experiences in tasting rooms, customer satisfaction, and the purchase decisions they make. Comfortable interiors and friendly, knowledgeable servers were found to increase the overall sense of customer satisfaction which, in turn, was associated with increased sales. Several subsequent focus groups were held to explore consumer experiences and language use. The first studied the connection between the expertise in beer that a consumer had and the language that the consumer used to describe beer. Increasing expertise did lead to changes in language use, with increasing industry-specific language. Additionally, it was found that there was a concept of “too-sweet” associated with traditionally sweet foods that became less central to consumers purchase decisions as they became more expert. Another focus group, one composed entirely of women, examined what qualities made breweries and beer labels, with labels used as a proxy for marketing in general, appealing to women. Female focus group participants indicated that they wanted comfortable spaces, quality beer, and welcoming service. It was also found that labels that focused on local and natural imagery were ranked higher than those with geometric motifs or sexual overtones. These studies present actionable data for New York State breweries to help them better serve and increase their appeal to consumers in a marketplace that is becoming increasingly crowded. Another New York State product, red hybrid grapes used for winemaking, are known for producing wine that has commercially undesirable color development when compared to wine made from Vitis vinifera varieties. Anthocyanins are the family of molecules that provide the basis of color in wine. The anthocyanin content of six commercially important interspecific hybrid cultivars, and two V. vinifera, were profiled to understand the drivers of color development in these cultivars. V. vinifera cultivars were found to have much lower percentage of mono-glucosides than hybrid cultivars. Hybrid cultivars in general had a greater diversity of species of anthocyanins identified within each sample.