NAPA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Premium domestic wineries are continuing to increase their use of cork closures, with brands using cork once again showing higher annual and holiday-period sales growth compared to those with alternative closures, according to a survey released today by the Cork Quality Council (CQC) based on data from A.C. Nielsen.
Among the top 100 selling brands, the number of wines using cork rose by 10.4% to 74 brands during the 52 week-period ended Jan. 8, 2011, compared to the same period a year ago. Moreover, wines with cork posted an average annual sales increase of 10.3%, compared to 3.5% for alternative closures, which include plastic stoppers and metal screw-caps.
“This is the fifth survey in a row to show an increase in the use and sales of cork,” said Peter Weber, executive director of the CQC. “We believe wineries are returning to cork because of consumer preference, vast improvements in the quality of cork, the emerging limitations of alternative closures and a growing awareness of cork’s environmental advantages.”
Sales of wine with cork closures were particularly strong during the holiday period. Cork finished brands enjoyed a 10.8% increase in case sales between Oct. 16, 2010 and Jan. 8, 2011, compared to the same period last year. Case sales of brands finished with alternative closures were flat during the holiday period.
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.
About 100% Cork
100% Cork is a campaign to educate U.S. wine consumers about the benefits of choosing wine with real cork stoppers because of cork’s environmental, technical and societal advantages. The campaign seeks to recruit and organize wine consumers to request that winemakers and retailers choose natural cork over artificial stoppers. The campaign is funded by the Portuguese Cork Association and the Cork Quality Council.
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