According to a recent market research study on wine closures conducted by Tragon Corporation, 93 percent of U.S. wine consumers associate natural cork with higher quality wines, while only 11 percent of U.S. wine consumers believe wines sealed with a screw cap to be of high quality. Similar results were found in both Germany and Australia. In Germany, 93 percent of wine drinkers and 85 percent in Australia associate natural cork with higher quality wines. Participants in both the U.S. and Germany went even a step further to indicate that natural cork is a positive influence on their purchase decisions whereas screw caps and synthetic closures can deter a purchase.
The 2013 web-based survey was administered to 1,550 consumers throughout the U.S., Australia and Germany. Participants included red and white wine drinkers, 80 percent of which consume wine at least once a week. The survey was comprised of 35 percent males and 65 percent females, who are the primary shoppers for their households and range in age from 25-65. The independent study was commissioned by Tragon with research partners SAM in Germany and AWRI in Australia.
Commenting on the results, Rebecca Bleibaum, Tragon's VP, Sensory and Consumer Insights, stated, "Consumers in all markets tested – U.S., Australia, and Germany – perceive wines with a natural cork closure to be of significantly higher quality than those with a screw cap."
Additional findings from the study include:
- Wines with a cork stopper are perceived as being appropriate for all occasions, from an informal dinner at home to dining out for a special occasion.
- Wines sealed with screw caps, on the other hand, especially in the U.S., are generally viewed as being of lower or moderate quality, and are viewed as less appropriate for a special occasion or dinner at a restaurant.
- 61 percent of the U.S respondents indicated that given the choice they would prefer to purchase wine with natural cork stoppers, while only three percent said they prefer to purchase wine with a screw cap.
- In Germany, 72 percent of the respondents indicated that screw caps convey moderate to low quality.
"The data shown for the U.S., Australia and German markets has consistent, and perhaps even unexpected, positive news for wineries that feature natural cork stoppers," commented Peter Weber, Executive Director of the Cork Quality Council. "Since consumers overwhelmingly associate cork with high quality wines, having a cork stopper instead of a screw cap can make a critical difference when it comes to selling to the all-crucial, premium segment of the market that successful wineries around the world are targeting. It certainly makes sense for these wineries to promote their use of cork."