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  • North Americans prefer cork stoppers

    Recent market research conducted in the USA and Canada provides further confirmation that cork is the preferred wine stopper for consumers, who are willing to pay a significant premium for cork-finished wines.

    The preference for cork delivers a major difference in terms of the sales potential of wines.

    According to recent data on the US market disclosed by Nielsen Scanning Statistics, for the Top 100 Premium Wine Brands during the 6-year period between June 2010 and June 2016, cork finished wines have enjoyed a 42% increase in sales compared to a 13% increase for wines using alternative closures.

    Over the last six years brands finished with cork have enjoyed more robust sales growth than brands finished with alternatives closures and the number of top brands using cork closures is increasing.

    Cork-finished wines retail at a significant price premium. Amongst the top 100 Premium Brands the median sales price for cork finished wines, was $13.56 – which is $3.80 (+39%) higher than the median price of wines sealed with alternative closures.

    A separate study for the Canadian market, published in July, 2016 by the American Association of Wine Economists, “Importance of eco-logo and closure type on consumer expectations, price perception and willingness to purchase wines in Canada” indicated that cork finished wines are preferred by Canadian consumers, who are willing to pay CAN$1.69 and CAN$1.29 more for wines sealed with natural corks compared to those sealed with synthetic or screw cap closures, respectively.

    The study highlights the fact that for consumers the type of stopper is perceived as a key indicator of both a wine’s quality and also influences perception of its eco-friendliness and thus has a major impact on purchase decisions.

    Furthermore, the study revealed that eco- conscious consumers pay significantly greater attention to the use of natural cork stoppers than any other environmental friendly claims, including the presence of eco-logos on the wine label.

    Further analysis on recent trends in the North American wine industry is provided in an article published in February, 2016 in The Atlantic magazine, entitled “How Millennials (Almost) Killed the Wine Cork”.

    The article suggests that Millenials (i.e. persons born after the mid-1980s) were initially keen to try out alternative closures, as part of a wider attraction to try out new trends, but have now shifted strongly back in favour of cork, in particular due to its quality and sustainability credentials.

    The article clarifies that key factors explaining the progressive appeal of cork amongst all wine consumers, including Millenials, are the rigorous quality control measures that have been adopted in the cork industry, delivering a 95 percent reduction in TCA since 2001 according to tests conducted by the Cork Quality Council, and growing awareness of cork’s multiple environmental benefits.

    These findings for the North American market confirm recent market research that has consistently shown that over 85% of wine consumers in other key world markets - such as France, China, Italy and Spain – overwhelmingly prefer cork, which is valued as a guarantee of quality, a natural and environmentally friendly closure, and an integral part of the wine and spirits experience.

  • NDtech wins two major Innovation Awards

    Amorim’s ground-breaking NDtech individualized cork stopper screening service, that offers the world’s first natural cork with a non-detectable TCA guarantee* has won two major Innovation Awards.

    In Vinitech Sifel’s 2016 Innovation Awards (Vine and Wine category), NDtech has won the prestigious Gold Award. The award jury presidents, Jean-Luc Berger and Pierre Gaillard, highlighted the fact that NDtech is the latest and most advanced technology in the combat to eliminate TCA and is playing a key role in improving the quality of wines.

    The award ceremony will be held on 30 November, during Vinitech Sifel (29 Nov. - 1 Dec.) - the bi-annual international trade show for the wine, fruit and vegetable production sectors, that places a special focus on highlighting new innovations in the sector.

    The Vinitech-Sifel Innovation Awards profile new products, processes and technologies that are defining the future of viticulture and winemaking and fruit and vegetable production. The awards include a special jury prize, 2 gold awards, 3 silver awards, 4 bronze awards and 11 special mentions.

    NDtech has also won a Silver Medal in the Filling and packaging technology category of the Innovation Awards of the bi-annual Intervitis Interfructa Hortitechnica, the international technology trade fair for wine, juice and special crops.

    The Innovation Awards are attributed by the German Winegrowers’ Association in cooperation with DLG (German Agricultural Society) for technical processes, systems, products or services.

    The international jury emphasized the fact that NDtech is a considerable improvement on previous methods. The award will be presented to Amorim Cork Germany during the trade fair, that runs 27-30 November 2016.

    NDtech is the fruit of Amorim’s long-term commitment to supporting innovation and research in the wine packaging sector. The solution is already available in 6 countries and is being applied to Amorim’s top-end natural cork stoppers used by some of the world’s most valuable wine brands.

    The Vinitech-Sifel Innovation Awards profile new products, processes and technologies that are defining the future of viticulture and winemaking and fruit and vegetable production.

  • Helix enters the US wine market with Bronco

    California’s Bronco Wine Company, the fourth larg- est US wine producer, is the first American winery to adopt the innovative twist-to-open Helix packaging solution, developed through a partnership between the world leaders of the cork and glass packaging industries - Amorim and O-I.

    Bronco’s range of Red Truck wines will henceforth be sealed with Helix stoppers, that offer the full advantages of cork, including the hallmark “popping” sound, while dispensing with the need for a corkscrew.

    Fred Franzia, Bronco’s CEO, says that he is delighted by this new development: “Wine consumers in America have a growing understanding of the role quality cork and quality wine play in delivering their wine in a sustainable but yet premium format. At Bronco, we have been doing exactly that for many years, but with Helix and Red Truck, the US market will now have access to all that plus the convenience of an easy-opening and easy-to-reclose bottle. We
    are proud at Bronco to be the first winery in America to deliver this incredible innovation”.

    Helix is the fruit of a €5 million R&D investment, combining a glass bottle with an internal thread finish and an ergonomically-designed cork.
    The Helix solution - hailed as one of the greatest wine packaging innovations of the twenty- first century - has so far garnered seven major international awards, including the “New Technology” prize in the Innovation Challenge Lucio Mastro- Berardino awards, in Milan, Packaging Oscars in Paris and Milan and Best Green Launch, in the 2015 Green Awards of the London magazine, Drinks Business.

    Helix is available across 4 continents, with more than two dozen brands already using this revolutionary product – in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Austria and South Africa.

    Antonio Amorim, the Chairman of Amorim Cork, reveals that it he is particularly expectant to see Helix launched in the US market – the world’s largest wine market: “Fred Franzia’s has been an innovator for decades now and Bronco’s leadership is again
    at display with Red Truck bringing to US consumer the most sustainable, technologically-advanced wine packaging innovation this side of the 21th Century. Knowing Fred’s unique understanding of consumers’ preferences, we are certain that other wines under Helix will ensue, enlarging Bronco’s offering of convenient yet 100% sustainable packaging.”

    Andres Lopez, CEO of O-I echoed this sense of profound satisfaction: “Wine and quality packaging are intrinsically connected and, as world leaders in our respective fields, Amorim and O-I understand their roles in delivering what winemakers, wine retailers and wine consumers want. Helix and Red Truck bring to the US a user-friendly, natural and sustainable packaging materials solution that enables wine producers to meet consumer preferences across a broader range of price points.”

  • Amorim launches world's first whole natural corks with proven non-detectable TCA guarantee

    Amorim has achieved a major technological breakthrough to become the world’s first cork producer to deliver natural cork stoppers to winemakers in six countries with a non-detectable TCA guarantee*, using cutting-edge technology that has not only been successfully trialed, but which is also being independently validated on performance.

    Known as NDtech, the state-of-the-art system further strengthens Amorim’s quality control measures by screening individual cork stoppers on the production line to eliminate the risk of any natural whole cork contaminated with releasable TCA reaching winemakers.

    “Until now, no cork producer has been able to guarantee an automated quality control system for natural cork stoppers that screens corks individually,” said Amorim’s research and development director Dr Miguel Cabral.

    “We have been working to achieve this goal for several years. Now we can examine an individual cork using sophisticated gas chromatography in just seconds, making the technology practical on a major industrial scale. We already have machines in use on the production floor that are delivering this guarantee to the first of our discerning customers.

    Two of the world’s leading wine industry research facilities — Hochschule Geisenheim University and The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) — have been engaged to independently validate the performance of NDtech.

    “The fact that Amorim’s NDtech is the only individual screening technology undergoing a double, scientific validation underlines the magnitude of this technological breakthrough.” said Cabral.

    Previously, gas chromatography examination took up to 14 minutes, making it impossible to use on production lines. Instead, Amorim applies the technology in laboratory-controlled batch testing as part of its quality control measures for the 4.2 billion corks it produces each year — and at the same time worked to improve the technology so it could be used in production.

    The development of the super-fast NDtech follows a five-year €10 million research and development investment by Amorim and a partnership with a British company specialising in gas chromatography.

    With incredibly high precision, NDtech can detect any cork with more than 0.5 nanograms of TCA per litre (parts per trillion). These corks are removed from the production line automatically.

    The level of precision necessary to meet this standard on an industrial scale for 100 per cent of the corks examined is astounding, especially given that the detection threshold of 0.5 nanograms/litre is the equivalent of one drop of water in 800 Olympic-size swimming pools.

    NDtech is complemented by Amorim’s existing preventive, curative and quality control measures, including the patented ROSA Evolution treatment used during production.

    As the world’s leading cork producer, Amorim has stood at the forefront of the fight against TCA — a naturally forming chemical compound that is a problem throughout the packaged food and beverage industries — with the application of rigorous production standards and certified quality control methods.

    “Amorim has experienced phenomenal growth in demand for cork stoppers over the past five years with annual sales increasing from 3 billion units to more than 4 billion,” said Amorim’s chairman and CEO António Amorim.

    “This is due, in part, to increasing awareness of cork’s environmental and technical advantages and acknowledgement of the added value that a quality natural cork closure brings to bottled wine.

    “Now, with NDtech, we have made the world’s best wine stopper even better.”

    NDtech is initially being applied to Amorim’s top-end natural cork stoppers used to close some of the world’s most valuable wine brands.

    “The response from winemakers has been as positive as we had anticipated, especially given the important role that premium packaging has for wine exports to crucial markets such as the US and China,” said Carlos de Jesus Amorim’s Head of Marketing & Communications. “Wineries in France, US, Italy, Spain, Germany and Portugal have already taken delivery of our NDtech checked corks.”

    “The introduction of NDtech after several years of development again highlights Amorim’s tenacious commitment to building continually on its well-established and industry-leading quality control measures.”

    * A non-detectable TCA guarantee means that if any TCA remains in a cork it is below the detection threshold of 0.5 nanograms/litre.

  • When it comes to wine closures, Amorim is worlds apart and our new video shows it

    Amorim is the largest producer and supplier of cork stoppers worldwide and in whom the main wine producers trust. The experience of around a century and a half of activity in this field and a development/innovation standing provide a unique guarantee in the supply of quality products. But it’s more than just the superior quality of our closures. The strength of our global resources and our partnerships with the wine industry speak for themselves, with international plaudits for our advanced production methods, quality control, environmental record, value for money and service.

    When it comes to wine closures, Amorim is worlds apart and our new video shows it.

    We do more than you can imagine.

  • Stefanie Costa and Paulo Castro  students of Universidade de Aveiro won the first prize at the Glassberries Design Awards

    The awards ceremony took place for the first time in Madrid, in a gala open to the public at the Medialab-Prado.

    BA Glass - Company in the glass packaging industry – and Corticeira Amorim, the world leader in Cork, gave out the awards in the 4th Edition of the International contest - Glassberries Design Awards. A competition that intends to award the innovation of the young European designers.

    The winners of this edition were Stefanie Costa and Paulo Castro, pupils from Universidade de Aveiro - with their original proposal for a gourmet pickled cucumber jar. They were awarded with the 1st prize of the contest – the Golden Glassberry Award.

    ESAD from Matosinhos took home the second and third prizes of the competition. Maria Teresa Soares was awarded with the 2nd prize - Silver Glassberry, as well as an Honorable Mention for the best and most original use of cork in the range of jars created, promoted by Amorim - the Cork Glassberry Award, with a simple and elegant container. Claudia Baltarejo took the 3rd prize home, the Bronze Glassberry with a stylized packaging proposal.

    To complete the prizes, BA Glass gave out 6 Honorable Mentions, with emphasis on the Special Honorable Glassberry for Jameny Rivera, Roni Zaslavsky and Isaac Soler Ramos, three pupils of ELISAVA - Escuela Superior de Diseño and Ingeniería de Barcelona, in Spain. The other Honorable Mentions regarding the choices from BA, the customers and an Honorable Mention in the Design and Innovation area, were given to the University of Fine-Arts in Poznań and the University of Fine-Arts in Warsaw, Poland.

    All awards were evaluated by an international jury composed of managers from BA and Corticeira Amorim, also of customers representing the food sector in Portugal, Spain, Poland and Germany, and António Lacerda, President of the Portuguese National Association of Designers - AND, among others.

    This year's edition was the most international one up to this date, which included the participation of 186 students of universities in Portugal, Spain and Poland, all invited by BA to create a new range of bottles for the food industry.

    For more informations go to:

  • Brazil: Cork Stoppers mean quality wines

    Consumers believe that cork best preserves the natural properties of wines. They are willing to pay between R$ 13.00 (€4.05) and R$ 15.00 (€4.67) more for a wine sealed with a natural cork stopper Brazilian consumers consider that the type of stopper used in a wine bottle is an indicator of its quality, according to the latest study commissioned by APCOR – the Portuguese Cork Association, conducted by Ibope / Conecta in the Brazilian market. Cork is considered to be a premium raw material that adds value to wine.

    According to the study, consumers are willing to pay between R$ 13.00 (€4.05) and R$ 15.00 (€4.67) more for a wine sealed with a natural cork stopper. This is a clear sign of the valorisation of a wine associated to a cork stopper, in comparison with wines sealed with other types of stoppers – such as plastic stoppers or aluminium screwcaps. This perception also extends to younger age groups. In this context, 80% of respondents associate natural cork stoppers to the upper tier of wines and consider that cork is the solution which best preserves the natural properties of wines. This factor is also directly linked to respondents’ social class. For example respondents from the social class A also identify opening a bottle sealed with a cork stopper as a moment of unique charm – provided by the characteristic “popping” sound that is one of the most recognizable sounds in the world. 50% of respondents also value cork’s sustainable credentials, the only option that constitutes a natural, clean and renewable stopper.

    USA 94% of consumers prefer natural cork stoppers (Tragon Corp.)

    Italy 85% of consumers consider that cork is the best stopper to ensure the quality of wine (AstraRicerche)

    France 89% of wine drinkers prefer cork stoppers and 89.8% state that cork stoppers preserve all the wine’s aromas (Ipsos)

    China 85% of consumers believe that wines sealed with cork are higher quality (CTR Market Research)

    Spain 92% of consumers prefer cork stoppers (Cork Project)

  • Recycling of Cork Stoppers in France reverts to the fight against cancer

    In the framework of the Ecobouchon recycling programme, Amorim Cork France collected 46 tons of cork stoppers, which were recycled and converted into a donation of €20,000 to the French anti-cancer association, Agir Cancer Gironde. Also in this framework, a cork panel was created in the Place Jean Jaures in Lyon, measuring 9m high and 7m in diameter, using 285,000 wine corks, listed in the Guinness World Records. As a result of the various recycling programmes in different countries, Corticeira Amorim has donated thousands of euros to civil society – in particular institutions involved in the fight against cancer and those that support persons with disabilities, as well as environmental protection institutions.