Does labelling wine and beer as high or low alcohol affect perceptions of their strength?

We examined consumers’ perceptions of strength (%ABV) and appeal of alcohol products using low/high verbal descriptors.

Verbal descriptors of lower strength wine and beer formed two clusters and effectively communicated reduced alcohol content. The verbal descriptors Low, Lower, Light, Lighter, and Reduced formed a cluster and were rated as denoting lower strength products than Regular, but higher strength than the cluster with intensifiers consisting of Extra Low, Super Low, Extra Light and Super Light.

Similar clustering in perceived strength was observed amongst the high verbal descriptors. Regular was the most appealing strength descriptor, with the low and high verbal descriptors using intensifiers rated least appealing.

Impact of low alcohol verbal descriptors on perceived strength: An experimental study. Vasiljevic, Couturier, Marteau, 2017.

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