According to recent research carried out in recent months by Nielsen, the world's leading company in information, data and audience analysis, corks remain market leaders as a necessary material for high-quality (premium) wine in the US. This is due to outstanding growth in both sales and market over the last decade.
According to Nielsen, from 2010 to 2020, sales of the top 100 premium corked wine brands increased by 97%, compared to the 6% of wine brands that use artificial closures and preservation materials. Research shows that over the past ten years, the market share of premium wines using cork grew by more than 20%, from 47% to 67.6%.
The latest annual data from Nielsen on the year's top 100 premium brands shows that among US wine consumers, there is a clear preference for the use of natural cork when purchasing premium wines (defined as premium wine that with a price of 6$ per bottle or higher).
Thus, at the end of 2020, the top 100 premium wine brands in the US had 72% of cork-sealed bottles. And it is that, in addition to a good material for preserving wine, cork is positioned as one of the most sustainable and renewable natural materials, as it is extracted without damaging or cutting down the trees, which have a life expectancy of 200 years or more. During its useful life, the cork oak, a tree from which cork is extracted, can absorb 20 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, making it a sustainable material that reduces the greenhouse effect. Through the cork cam, a fully sustainable material extraction process, the cork industry is helping to combat climate change by preserving Europe's largest cork forests from deforestation, while providing jobs in rural areas.
"Cork is a genuine and unrepeatable material, which is why it is not only the best closure option for quality wines but also cannot be imitated by any other alternative that can be found on the market. Its extraordinary properties make it the best ally of aging wines, the only thing that contributes to the positive evolution of wines in the bottle", he declares Joan J. Puig, president of the Catalunya Sures Business Association.
"That corks are associated with quality wines is nothing new in our country. What is relevant is that the Anglo-Saxon markets are verifying that cork, and not synthetics or screws, are the best closures due to the fulfillment of all the technical requirements in their use and due to their social and environmental respect throughout the cycle of life" he says Albert Hereu, Director of the Institut Català del Suro Foundation and spokesperson for the InterCork initiative.
The Institut Català del Suro Foundation
The Institut Català del Suro (ICSuro) is a private, non-profit, scientific foundation whose mission is the development of the cork sector. Among the main lines of action is research on cork-wine interaction.
The Associació d'Empresaris Surers de Catalunya (AECORK) is an entity that brings together the main companies that manufacture and/or sell cork products that export to the main world wine markets.