The double-edged effects of visualizing wine style: sweetness scale on wine label

Anqi (Angie) Luo, Donna L. Quadri-Felitti, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Purpose: A visual sweetness scale with an arrow pointing to a specific sweetness level is now required on all labels of AOC Alsace. The sweetness scale makes it easier for consumers to understand what is in the bottle. What is less clear, however, is whether such labeling is always effective. To fill this gap, the current research paper aims to examine the positive and negative effects (double-edged effects) of a visual sweetness scale and identify the boundary condition. Design/methodology/approach: Two studies were conducted using a 2 (cue type: scale vs text) by 2 (consumer type: novices vs experienced wine consumers) between-subjects, quasi-experimental design. Findings: The double-edged effects are only significant among wine novices. Specifically, though wine novices are more likely to purchase wine with a sweetness scale (vs text) due to perceived diagnosticity (Study 1), they are unwilling to pay more due to low perceived quality (Study 2). Practical implications: The study findings provide practical implications for wine producers, marketers and restaurants regarding when and how to use the sweetness scale on wine labels and wine service. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this research is the first to reveal the impact of visualizing wine style on wine labels. More importantly, while most previous research demonstrates the positive effects of using visual cues, this research sheds light on its drawbacks and examines the underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Early online date29 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Purchase intention
  • Visual cue
  • Willingness to pay (WTP)
  • Wine consumers
  • Wine label

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'The double-edged effects of visualizing wine style: sweetness scale on wine label'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this