CCOVI Consumer Research Lab

October 23, 2017 - thegrower.org

Brock University’s viticulture institute has received $960,00 for a one-of-a-kind consumer research lab.  The Canada Foundation for Innovation grant will help the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) establish the world’s first mediated-reality wine laboratory that will combine sights, smells and sounds to help researchers study the science of consumer choice in the wine industry.

The Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Sensory Reality Consumer Laboratory, to be known as (R3CL), will be able to create a variety of environments in which people purchase and consume wines. These environments could include wineries, liquor stores or even dining rooms. Interwoven with the scenes will be music, smells and other sensory information.

Researchers will study how a range of factors impact the research participants’ choices of where and under what conditions they purchase and drink wines. This greater understanding of consumer behaviour will help the industry to best market their wines to potential customers, says Debbie Inglis, CCOVI director.

“The concept of coupling consumer behaviour with technical tools of augmented and virtual reality is not only going to put Canadian researchers on the forefront of this research, but it’s also an international first,” she says.

The exercise is not just academic but economic, explains Inglis, noting that the majority of wines sold in Canada come from other countries. “We want to flip that, or at least gain a majority of market share that’s Canadian,” she says.

An economic impact study last year found that CCOVI contributed more than $91 million and the equivalent of 307 jobs to Ontario’s economy in 2014-15.