New Year Champagne Demand Causes Cork Shortage

Cork manufacturer working round the clock to fill New Year needs

How many corks do you think will be popped this New Year’s Eve? Ready for this total, how about 1 Billion! That’s double the number of bottles of bubbly drank last year and the demand is causing a cork shortage! That’s right, a CORK shortage.

One cork production company is working double shifts and weekends to keep up with the demand. Portuguese cork giant, Amorim, supplies 20% of the world’s corks and the company is bustling with activity. Amorim has introduced two shifts a day at its factories and has staff working on weekends. Even with these increased shifts, authorities don’t know if they’ll be able to keep up with the demand.

Champagne orders were up in the first half of this year and then significantly increased in July and have been up ever since, said Amorim’s sales manager Carlos Agrellos. In fact, the company is turning away customers with last-minute orders.

It looks like everyone wants to celebrate Year 2000 with champagne and with that sort of demand you cause a strain on everything from bottles to corks. One Billion champagne corks is double the amount produced last year at Amorim and now the company is scrambling to fulfill its orders by the end of the year.

While this New Year’s Eve is going to be a huge celebration the same could happen next year and Agrellos wants winemakers to be aware of this, and order early. After all, the year 2001 is going to be big celebration too, and a party that will call for champagne cork and all.

DATE: 10/29/99

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