A Conversation with Kun Zhao

Secretary General of the Aerosol Committee of the China Packaging Federation

AEROSOL EUROPE: Mr. Zhao, the last interview with you is already some years back. What is the situation currently in the Chinese aerosol market?

Kun Zhao: Aerosols in China have developed rapidly in recent years, output and capacity show the momentum of rapid development, on the whole, we are in a process from quantitative change to qualitative change.

From the perspective of product structure, the proportion of personal care and household products is increasing, which is the locomotive that will drive development for some time to come. In recent years, personal aerosols have been rapidly popularized in China,  thanks first to the policy guidance of consumption upgrading, and together with the development of online e-commerce and the growth of personal consumption capacity that has promoted the rapid development of aerosol products, especially BOV packaging products. We pay close attention to the stability of these products and expect more creative products to meet people’s individual needs.

The development of pesticides and automobile products is stable, while the development of medicine and food aerosols is obviously lagging behind. Pesticides, automobile supplies and paints have always occupied the top few places of aerosol production in China. In recent years, they have been mature and stable, with no big fluctuations in technology and market. Medicine and food are a mine to be discovered, but this will require more capital and long-term exploration.

From the perspective of equipment and supporting fields, supporting products of China’s aerosol industry basically meet the needs of the industry, while China’s aerosol manufacturing equipment is in the stage of upgrading, especially to meet demands for faster speed, better precision, and a higher degree of automated filling, and this development will continue in the future. Plastic aerosols in China are still in a trial stage, there may be a boom in the future if progress is made, which would present  new opportunities in the supporting industries. 

From the perspective of regulations, aerosol-related regulations will become stricter and stricter, it is expected that there will be no new boom of aerosol factory construction in the future. Relocation and transformation are the main tasks of enterprises in many areas.

The future development of aerosols in China will continue to maintain a steady but rising pace, the growth of domestic demand and development of e-commerce will be more favorable, and the overheated product types will be repaired by market rules. Opportunities in relatively lagging development areas cannot be ignored.

AEROSOL EUROPE: A few weeks ago, the 9th International Aerosol and Metal Containers Technology Exhibition (AEROTECH) in Ningbo came to an end. What was your impression of this event? 

Kun Zhao: There are three big changes that deserve our attention: 

1. We are glad to see more exhibitors joining this platform, which basically covers the aerosol industry chain, from spring and glass beads to iron printing and canning equipment. This indicates the dynamic development momentum and active market situation of the aerosol industry.

2. Whether the plastic aerosols come on stage can solve safety, policy, technology, cost and other issues related to the success of plastic aerosol in China

3. The replacement of equipment is accelerating, and it is expected that 120 cans per minute on automatic equipment will gradually become the mainstream.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Can you tell our readers how many exhibitors and visitors came to the show in Ningbo?

Kun Zhao: According to the organizers  data, there were 151 exhibitors, 6,000 people visited over the two and a half days, and the exhibition area was more than 18,000 m2.

AEROSOL EUROPE: AEROTECH is quite an international event now. What is the percentage of foreign visitors to the total number of visitors?

Kun Zhao: The data shows that domestic visitors account for 85%, and visitors from other countries account for 15%.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Which topics urgently need to be addressed within the Chinese aerosol industry? 

Kun Zhao: In my opinion, there are three problems that the Chinese aerosol industry needs to solve:

1. How to ensure safety, compliance and sustainable development against the background of increasingly strict laws and regulations

2. Brand-building

3. Improvement of innovation capability

AEROSOL EUROPE: How high do you estimate the growth potential of the Chinese aerosol market to be in the medium term?

Kun Zhao: We believe that there is still plenty of room for the growth of aerosols in China. If calculated on a per capita basis, we are still a backward country in the world. We still have a lot of work to do and face many known and unknown challenges, so it is not easy to predict specific figures. However, we believe that the Chinese aerosol industry will continue to develop and will no doubt become more open to global cooperation.

AEROSOL EUROPE: In the last conversation with you, we talked about the co-operation between the Chinese Aerosol Federation and other aerosol associations. What is the state of affairs here? Where do you see further potential regarding these cooperations?

Kun Zhao: We are a member of the AAF and liaison partner of FEA; in recent years, we have maintained efficient communication. Representatives from South America, South Africa, the UK etc., have also been invited to attend the Ningbo events this year. I think the potential for future cooperation is huge, such as with regard to whether it is possible to gradually promote mutual recognition and the unification of related aerosol standards in Asia, so as to promote the convergence of national requirements at the level of regulations, which will facilitate the export of aerosol products.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Will the next AEROTECH be in Ningbo as well? 

Kun Zhao: I think it will still be held in Ningbo, our association will make a recommendation, however this depends in the end on the organizers assessment. 

AEROSOL EUROPE: How do you think the future of aerosol products looks in China?

Kun Zhao: In Q1, I introduced the development status of China aerosol products, also with a brief description of the development of future aerosol products in China. I believe aerosol products, are a good partner in people’s lives and work, as they protect health, beautify life and improve efficiency. In order to obtain a promising future for aerosol products in China, three points are needed: complete legal standards, continuous innovation and quality improvement, and increasing social goodwill, which require all practitioners to work with the association. 

AEROSOL EUROPE: Mr Zhao, thank you for this conversation.

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