Wine glass size and wine sales: a replication study in two bars

BMC Res Notes. 2017 Aug 1;10(1):287. doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-2610-0.


Objective: Wine glass size may influence perceived volume and subsequently purchasing and consumption. Using a larger glass to serve the same portions of wine was found to increase wine sales by 9.4% (95% CI 1.9, 17.5) in a recent study conducted in one bar. The current study aimed to replicate this previous work in two other bars using a wider range of glass sizes. To match the previous study, a repeated multiple treatment reversal design, during which wine was served in glasses of the same design but different sizes, was used. The study was conducted in two bars in Cambridge, England, using glass sizes of 300, 370, 510 ml (Bar 1) and 300 and 510 ml (Bar 2). Customers purchased their choice of a 750 ml bottle, or standard UK measures of 125, 175 or 250 ml of wine, each of which was served with the same glass.

Results: Bar 1: Daily wine volume (ml) purchased was 10.5% (95% CI 1.0, 20.9) higher when sold in 510 ml compared to 370 ml glasses; but sales were not significantly different with 300 ml vs. 370 ml glasses (6.5%, 95% CI −5.2, 19.6) [corrected]. Bar 2 Findings were inconclusive as to whether daily wine purchased differed when using 510 ml versus 300 ml glasses (-1.1%, 95% CI -12.6, 11.9). These results provide a partial replication of previous work showing that introducing larger glasses (without manipulating portion size) increases purchasing. Understanding the mechanisms by which wine glass size influences consumption may elucidate when the effect can be expected and when not. Trial registration This study is a replication study, based on the procedure set out in the trial registration for the study that it attempts to replicate (ISRCTN registry: ISRCTN12018175).

Keywords: Alcohol; Glass size; Multiple treatment reversal design; Portion size; Purchasing; Replication; Wine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Consumer Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • England
  • Humans
  • Wine / statistics & numerical data*

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN12018175