Wine in Groceries Could Promote Small Wineries Products: Study

Nearly 82% of Connecticut households support a bill that would allow grocery stores to sell wine.  But they still would buy most of their alcohol at liquor stores if the bill passed, a study by a team from the University of Connecticut found.

The study also found there would only be a small, yet positive, impact on the overall economy, the policy could provide an opportunity to promote the sale of Connecticut wines. Survey respondents who reported having tried Connecticut wines reported they enjoyed them, but that they are difficult to find in stores.

“By protecting a retail industry that is already quite protected…the existing regulations suppress important benefits to consumers that reach larger number of people across the state, and possibly suppresses the growth of a nascent Connecticut wine industry that is important to rural areas,” Kimberly Rollins, professor and head of the University of Connecticut's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and director of the Zwick Center, says.

In other words, the research team found that increasing the number of outlets selling wine could significantly benefit the sale of these local products.

“These vineyards don’t want another subsidy,” Marcello Graziano, associate professor of management and international business at Southern Connecticut State University and member of the research team. says. “They want the opportunity.”

The Connecticut Food Association asked the team o provide an objective economic analysis of what impact this policy would have on liquor stores, grocery stores, and other segments of the state economy.

“We were really clear from the beginning that anything that we do through the University and the Zwick Center is nonpartisan,” Rollins says. “We strive to provide information based on high quality research, and that’s what we did.”