Lynch, Deirdre (2005) ‘Rip-off Ireland’ - Fact or Fiction(An investigation of the Irish Domestic Wine Market). Undergraduate thesis, National College of Ireland.
Rip-off Ireland has been the topic of discussion, over the past number of years both in this country and abroad. The primary objective of this dissertation is to establish if ‘Rip-Off Ireland’ is fact or fiction. The objective of this dissertation is to establish the perceptions and attitudes of Irish wine consumers as to whether they believe ‘Rip-Off Ireland’ - is fact or fiction. The author will investigate the wine market in Ireland and why we pay more for a take home bottle of wine in Ireland than in most other European countries. The methods used in conducting the research will be critically appraised, followed by a discussion on the results obtained from both the primary research(focus group and personal interview) and secondary data.
This dissertation reveals that we are, as a nation, ripped-off but not just by the Government. On closer investigation, the author has found that the Government is only part of the equation. The importer, distributor and retailer of wine have profit margins along the way. So the core price of a bottle of wine could be €2, excise duty €2.50, importer profit €1, distribution cost 50 cent, retailer €2 and lastly VAT @ 21%. The bottle of wine which cost €2 to produce is now costing €9.68 to purchase. With this in mind, we cannot blame everything on the government. But the question we really ought be addressing is are we getting value for our money?
Irish consumers must accept some responsibility for their contribution to this rip off culture. Research in this dissertation has demonstrated that they are not discerning wine consumers, they are not brand loyal, they do not shop around, they buy wine from supermarkets and off-licenses. On a positive note, the growth of wine importers, in Ireland, together with the growing number of people buying on-line, this leads the author to believe that the Irish consumer is finally wakening from our slumber, and are beginning to take back our power as consumers, by deciding to look for alternatives.
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