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95% 2021 Top 100 Wines in China Use Cork

Over the years we have learned that the majority of the wine trade, professionals and consumers in China have an exceptionally strong preference for the cork over other types of closures. But what is the magnitude of such a profound impact? According to the results of a recent survey of the top 100 best-selling wines in China in 2021, this market preference for the cork stopper is huge and beats other closures by an overwhelming margin.

Specifically, 95 of these 100 best-selling wines in China use cork as a closure.

This survey is based on data collected by APCOR and provided by market research firm NielsenIQ. The top 100 best-selling wines have been identified based on 2021 retail sales figures of wines obtained from hypermarkets, supermarkets and minimarkets in 24 Chinese cities. These cities include Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hefei, Wuhan, Changsha, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Shenyang, Harbin, Kunming, Jinan, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Dalian, Fuzhou, Xi'an, Wuxi, Suzhou, Ningbo, Dongguan . and Xiamen. A representative from NielsenIQ was on the ground and oversaw the verification process to verify the closures of these 100 best-selling wines.

The survey results show that the cork is the undisputed “preferred wine closure” in the Chinese market by all accounts:

  • 95 of the top 100 wines use cork. These 95 wines have an average price per liter of RMB 208.51 (€29.61) compared to RMB 86.56 (€12.29) for the five sealed with artificial closures. The average price per liter of these 100 wines is RMB 202.4 (€28.74).
  • The 100% of the 56 national wines were sealed with cork, while 39 of the 44 imported wines (89%) were sealed with cork.
  • In terms of sales volume, the 21 best-selling wines out of these 100 wines use corks, the artificial enclosure is not used until 2022.
  • Regarding the price per liter, the 10 highest priced wines in this survey are corked.

Studies show that women and Millennial drinkers are on the rise in China *. A key characteristic of these consumer groups is their advocacy of the environment, and the sustainability advantage of the cork stopper fits perfectly with this orientation. Natural cork closures have a negative carbon balance, according to recent studies by three of the world's largest auditing firms. A single cap has a balance of up to -309 grams of CO2; sparkling wine cork numbers are even higher at -589 grams.

*A new study by Chinese research firm CBNData finds that young Chinese consumers born in the 1990s are driving the growth of the country's online beverage sales, and indeed young female drinkers are drinking the most part

(SOURCE: Cork Initiative)