Wines sealed with a cork are seen by consumers as more premium in the on-trade, and hence command a higher price premium, presenting an opportunity for licensees to trade customers up to a more expensive choice.
The research, which analysed on-trade sales figures of the top 50 still wine brands (by volume) in the UK, found that the cork-finished wine brands retail at a significant price premium of £5.38 more per bottle than those with an artificial closure.
Cork closed wine on the up
CGA’s research also demonstrated the price positioning gap between closure types is widening, with the retail price of cork closed wine increasing by over 11% since 2015, compared to a 6% boost for artificial-closed wines.
Total distribution for wines sealed with a cork is also on the rise, growing 48% since 2015 (compared with a 10% uptick for artificial closures), suggesting an increased interest in offering wines closed with a cork.
Association with quality
CGA senior category manager Mark Newton said the data showed ‘premiumisation’ was being seen in the wine category as well as spirits.
“These figures suggest wines sealed with a cork may well be starting to show signs of ‘premiuminisation’ in terms of consumer and licensee behaviour,” he said. “This is a trend that, for some time, has been a cornerstone of the spirits sector and is now being seen within overall movements in wine consumption at higher price bands across the category.”
Chairman of Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) João Rui Ferreira added: “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.”