The Sale and Use of Cork Wine Closures Continue to Surge

NAPA, Calif., Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 60 percent of the top 100 domestic premium wine brands are now sealed with natural cork, another sign of the growing resurgence of cork and the diminishing use and acceptance of alternative closures.

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Case sales of the top 100 domestic premium wine brands sealed with cork surged 7.7 percent during the four-weeks ended Sept. 17, 2011, compared to the same period a year earlier.  During the same period, the sale of the top 100 brands finished with alternative closures plummeted 11.9 percent.  The results are from a survey of A.C. Nielsen data by the Cork Quality Council.

Case Sales 





4 Weeks Ending  

9/17/2011 

9/18/2010 

Change





Cork Closures

689,252

639,923

7.70%

Alternatives

444,848

504,992

-11.9%

Total Top 100

1,134,100

1,144,915

-0.9%



As a result, wines with cork made up 61 percent of case sales of the top 100 domestic premium wine brands, compared to 56 percent a year ago.  The top 100 premium brands account for 55 percent of all the 750ml wine bottles made in the U.S.

"This is the sixth consecutive survey to show a sharp increase in the sale of wine sealed with cork," said Peter Weber, executive director of the Cork Quality Council (CQC).  "With improvement in the quality of cork, unwavering consumer preference for natural cork and emerging problems with alternative closures, a growing number of U.S. wineries are choosing cork."

Additionally, the number of wine varietals sealed with cork increased 5.5 percent, to 668.  By contrast, the number of varietals sealed with alternative closures fell 15.4 percent to 269.

SKU Count





4 Weeks Ending 

9/17/2011 

9/18/2010 

Change





Cork Closures

668

633

5.50%

Alternatives

269

318

-15.4%

Total Top 100

937

951

-1.5%



Alternative closures have dominated wines in the lower end of the price spectrum.  However, in the most recent period, cork closures improved to 50 percent from 44 percent of the $6-$9 category. Sales of wines with cork closures increased to 60 percent from 58 percent of the $9-$12 price.

The CQC study focused on the top 100 selling wine brands priced at more than $6 per 750 ml bottle and was confined to supermarket sales and did not include on-premise activity or sales from smaller wine shops. The top 100 brands include the majority of wine brands that use alternative wine closures.

The complete survey can be viewed at: http://www.corkqc.com/newsandpress/cnews3.htm

Based in Napa, Calif., the CQC is a non-for-profit organization founded to promote education and improved quality assurance procedures for the wine and cork industries.  The CQC and the Portuguese Cork Association are funding a national campaign called 100% Cork to educate wine consumers about the environmental, technical and social advantages of natural cork.

SOURCE 100PercentCork.org



RELATED LINKS
http://www.100percentcork.org

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