New research suggests that consumers are willing to pay an average £1.52 more for wines sealed with a cork than those with screwcaps.

Cork-finished bottles of red wine are especially amenable to ‘premiumisation’, selling for an average of £7.15 in the off trade, compared to £5.26 for a screwcap – a difference of £1.89.

The Nielsen research, analysed for the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR), found strong value growth in natural cork-stopped wine (6.1%), with red wines doing particularly well (11.3% growth) – based on the top-selling 1,500 SKUs for the year ending July 2017.

The research demonstrates that consumers are willing to pay a price premium for wines closed with a cork, indicating a “significant profit opportunity for retailers”, according to APCOR.

APCOR chairman João Rui Ferreira said: “We already know there is a strong consumer preference for cork due to its association with quality wine.

“For the first time, these results clearly demonstrate the value this presents to retailers, who can trade customers up and benefit from higher profit margins.”