Wine producers and retailers should follow consumer demand and offer more screw top closures for wine and spirits, says the European Aluminium Foil Association Closures Group (EAFA).
The manufacturers and suppliers trade body claims that the majority of consumers prefer aluminium screw top closures for convenience, particularly when it comes to re-closing wine bottles.
Invented more than 40 years ago, screw top closure use has boomed in the last 15 years, from 100m to more than 4bn pieces. EAFA predicts their popularity will continue to grow in Europe and the US.
Consumer vote for screw tops
The trade body bases its claim on a survey of 6,000 consumers from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and US, which it commissioned from market research organization IPSOS.
Guido Aufdemkamp, director of communications, EAFA, told FoodProductionDaily.com that the survey was done to convince wine producers of a consumer vote for screw tops, and need for retailers to offer more choice.
“We have a great product, but the fillers and retailers are not yet there to use this product to the extent it should be,” he said.
“The survey was also done to find out more about how consumers perceive aluminium closures.”
In the survey, screw tops scored highest when consumers were asked what they preferred for re-closing a bottle of unfinished wine.
When comparing the same bottle of wine with a different closure, over one third said they would prefer to buy wine with an aluminium closure, and a quarter said the type of closure would not influence their purchase.
However, opinions on bottle tops vary between countries. In New Zealand, aluminum closures predominate with a 95% market share.
This compares to less than 20% in France, which is a more traditional wine producer, Aufdemkamp said.
'Hallmark for consistent quality'
“In traditional wine countries, the domestic market usually has a cork, sometimes the same wine for export has a screw cap,” he added.
The survey found there was a “strong preference” for aluminium closures among younger consumers and females. “The younger generation is more open-minded, they like more choice, and they don’t stick to tradition,” Aufdemkamp said.
Through EAFA, European manufacturers are running an awareness campaign called ‘Turn 360’ to promote the caps.
Between 2-5% of bottled wine is wasted due to corkage, the campaign says, as it champions aluminium closures as a ‘hallmark’ for consistent quality.
The campaign asserts that screw tops have better environmental credentials, with European recycling levels of more than 40%.