Sealing the deal: data shows consumers willing to pay over £5 more for bottles of wine sealed with corks

By Georgia Bronte contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sealing the deal: data shows consumers willing to pay over £5 more for bottles of wine sealed with corks
New research has shown consumers are willing to pay more for cork-sealed wines than wines sealed with artificial closures.

Customers paid on average £5.38 more for wines sealed with corks - and were also more likely to buy them than 'artificially' sealed bottles.

The research, released by CGA, is said to show premiumisation widening the value gap between cork and artificial closures.

The research looked at sales figures for the top 50 still wine brands by volume in the UK on-trade, and the figures showed cork-sealed bottles listed at a significantly higher price than those with closures such as screwcaps.

CGA say consumers may perceive wine closed with a cork to be of better quality than with a screwcap, and so they are willing to pay more for it.

The data analysts refer to findings that depict a widening price gap between closure types – and figures depicting more cork-closed wine generally being sold. 

The figures show the price of cork-closed wine increasing by over 11% since 2015 in comparison to +6% for artificial-closed wines.

Figures listed for sales of cork wines appear to have grown by 48% since 2015, compared with +10% for artificial closures.

In the past year, value sales of cork have risen by 7% compared with +9% for artificial closures such as screwcaps.

Research conducted by Nielsen on the top 1,500 wine brands in the UK showed value sales for cork-stopped wines are growing by 6.1% year-on-year and carry a £1.52 higher average selling price per bottle than those with artificial closures.

João Rui Ferreira, Chairman of Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR), says “We already know there is a strong consumer preference for cork due to its association with quality wine. For the first time, these results clearly demonstrate the value this presents to licensees, who can trade customers up and benefit from higher profit margins.”

Big Hospitality reported last month​ on research showing that the sound of a cork popping can convince diners that their wine tastes better than it is.

Top winemakers across the world are increasingly reverting to cork as their closure of choice, with 7 out of 10 wine bottles now sealed with a natural cork, and research is continuing to show that such closures provide more positive drinking experiences.

These new research findings, coupled with the widening price gap between cork-sealed and screwcap wines, shows that more education is required to overcome the notion that corks equal better quality- and restaurants of a certain level should be aware of this.

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