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Tesco Bubblies Get Zorked

Posted: Wednesday, 13 October 2010 12:09

Tesco Bubblies Get Zorked

Australian closure supplier Zork has signed a deal with Tesco which brings its re-sealable top for sparkling wine to the UK market through four of its own sparkling wines labels that are being launched today, making the alternative closure company venture  out of Australia for the first time, with Tesco as the pioneer for using it in UK.

The objective of the newly introduced closure is to make it easier to open sparkling wines and conserve their bubbles for longer, up to a week. The current regulations allow only corks for champagnes but the supermarket hopes to get the rules modified and eventually plans to use the new closures on champagne and cavas too. Tesco plans to increase the number of wine products using this closure in future.

‘It is likely to be a big hit with women who want to side step the trauma that can accompany the act of opening a bottle of sparkling wine,’ says Tesco’s wine and beer Director Dan Jago according to media reports, adding, ‘this is great news for customers who are just looking to enjoy the odd glass of sparkling wine as Zork keeps the bubbles in the bottle for more than a week,”

It is quite easy and safe to open a sparkling wine bottle if one follows the ritual of removing the top foil, untwisting the seal exactly six times, keeping the cage in tact and pressing the top of the cork with the palm of one hand and twisting the bottle back and forth slowly with the other hand at the bottom end of the bottle, till the cork pops out gently without the popping sound and the fizz and wine spilling over. Many people who watch it opened on celebratory occasions with the cork hitting the ceiling, the pressurized cork fear is always a deterrent especially if they are undergoing the ritual for the first time. They will benefit immensely from the new closure.

The new plastic closure, which Zork claims is totally recyclable, has four separate components, according to the manufacturer:
-Cap with a tamper proof band
-Collette with a spring loading pin allowing it to lock onto a standard wine bottle
-Foil which is a gas barrier for keeping air out and gas, which gives the fizz, in
-Seal which prevents leaking under extreme, high pressure conditions

The Australian company Zork launched the product in Australia and New Zealand in May last year with three major Australian companies interested in the product for their sparkling wines. Zork hopes to grab 10% share of the market in 10 years and the contract with Tesco is just the beginning.

Being a leading supermarket chain specialising in wines as well, Tesco is known for its packaging innovations. In 2002, it became the first supermarket chain in UK to switch all own labels to screwcap, when the debate between cork and screwcap was still on, even in UK. In March this year it launched new lightweight wine bottles that are 40 per cent lighter than the average. The bottles weigh only 300g; 30% lighter than even its previous light own label bottles. The supermarket estimates it will save 560 tons annually towards glass usage and the resultant carbon footprints.

If the supermarkets customers accept this closure in the UK, it will be a matter of time before it hits India-since there are no rigid rules for closures and the producers are quite pro-active in this area. One also hopes they would take a cue from Tesco and consider reducing the weight of their bottles at the same time. Indage, Sula, Zampa and Vinsura are already producing sparkling wines-while Grover and UB have announced their intent to encash the growing demand.


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