New figures illustrate a resilient aerosol industry

Statistics announced by the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA) have revealed that 1.521 billion cans were filled in 2019, marking a small drop compared to the previous year’s record performance.

Amidst the uncertainty posed first by Brexit and now by Covid-19, the 2019 filling figures have been welcomed by the aerosol industry, reflecting the sector’s resilience and the continued popularity of the aerosol format with consumers.

As in previous years, the personal care sector accounts for the largest volume of products, with anti-perspirants still the biggest seller in this sector and across the industry overall.

BAMA data shows that 484 million anti-perspirants were manufactured in 2019, an increase of 7% on 2018 figures. Haircare products also increased by 3%, pointing to continued innovation, particularly in dry shampoos, with products such as waterless mousses and dry conditioners gaining in popularity.

Patrick Heskins, BAMA’s chief executive, said: “The UK aerosol industry showed its resilience despite the uncertainty surrounding trading and political matters throughout 2019.

“In spite of the closure of one of the UK’s major filling companies, and the uncertainties created by the decision to leave the EU, aerosol filling in 2019 only showed a reduction of 1% compared to 2018.

“Looking ahead, Covid-19 presents an altogether different challenge for all of us but the figures prove that the aerosol industry is nothing if not innovative and resilient.”

Production of personal care aerosols continues to dominate UK aerosol manufacturing, with more than 74% of the cans filled in this category. The on-going trend for men to sport more facial hair, however, saw a drop in the production of shaving foams and gels.

Volumes in the household sector remain strong at just over 17% of the total and production of household products into spray cans, particularly air fresheners, increased in 2019. There was also continued growth in the volume of OTC medicines dispensed as aerosols.

The volume of industrial and automotive aerosols filled dropped as a result of some production moving overseas after the closure of McBride in Hull. This, in addition to the drop in shaving preps being filled, caused a shift in the proportion of tinplate and aluminium aerosol cans being used, with aluminium now accounting for 57% of the market, up around 7% on last year.

Heskins added: “Aerosols will continue to provide a convenient solution for both commercial and consumer use. I have no doubt we will continue to see sustained growth in the household products and hard surface cleaners for instance, as well as personal care products. Further growth in medical and pharmaceuticals also seems very likely in the years ahead.

“In the face of unprecedented and continued market challenges as well as an uncertain political landscape, the aerosol industry has continued to perform strongly and has clearly demonstrated its significance in UK manufacturing and to the wider economy once again.”

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