AEROSOL EUROPE: What is the current situation of the Latin American aerosol industry?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: Latin America is a large region consisting of 20 countries, from Mexico to Argentina. It has an area of 20 million square kilometers and a population of over 660 million inhabitants. In this context, the aerosol industry has developed successfully, recording a production volume of nearly 2.7 billion aerosols in 2021, of which 95% are concentrated in three countries: Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. These countries currently rank 4th, 6th, and 7th, respectively, among the countries with the highest aerosol production globally. One of the challenges for FLADA (the Latin American Aerosol Federation), an organization that I also have the honor of presiding over, is to expand the aerosol industry to other countries where aerosol systems are gaining greater acceptance among consumers. Chile, Colombia, and Peru are examples of the potential growth of the industry. Latin America consumes over 95% of what it produces, resulting in a regional per capita consumption of 4 units per year.
AEROSOL EUROPE: What is the current situation of the aerosol industry in Argentina?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: Argentina has been the driving force behind the growth of the aerosol industry in the region, as it produced the first aerosols in Latin America in 1954. There are two favorable conditions for the development of the aerosol industry in Argentina: a large production hub and a significant consumer market. In 2021, Argentina produced 830 million aerosols, making it the 6th largest producer worldwide. It is also a leader in terms of per capita consumption, with a volume of 14 units, placing it among the countries with the highest consumption globally. In summary, we can affirm that Argentina has an important integrated and efficient industry that achieves widespread consumer acceptance of aerosols.
AEROSOL EUROPE: In September of this year, the Latin American aerosol association FLADA will again hold a congress, this time in Buenos Aires. The last FLADA congress was held in Sao Paulo in 2019. What do you expect after 2 years of Corona crisis?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: Indeed, the upcoming congress in Buenos Aires will be the first one after two years of isolation. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered lifestyles and consumption habits on a global scale, and Latin America has also been affected by this reality. From 2020 to 2022, aerosol products performed differently in Latin America depending on the product category. The year 2020 was marked by isolation, resulting in a decrease in the consumption of cosmetic and personal care products; however, this was balanced out by an increase in aerosols used for sanitizing and disinfection purposes. During 2021, with the vaccination campaigns and the end of isolation measures, personal care products were able to regain their level of demand. Throughout the two years of the pandemic, Argentina increased its production by 25% compared to previous years. The entire aerosol industry in Latin America is very excited about being able to gather again, and for this reason, we anticipate significant attendance at the congress.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Can you tell our readers how many exhibitors and visitors you expect in Buenos Aires?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: The 11th Latin American Aerosol Congress will have a venue for 40 exhibiting companies, and we estimate an attendance of over 500 people during the 2-day event.
AEROSOL EUROPE: What is the percentage of foreign visitors to the total number of visitors?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: We estimate that 50% of the attendees will come from abroad, especially from Latin America. We will also welcome many people from other regions, as the annual meeting of the ILC (International Liaison Committee) will be held in Buenos Aires on September 15.
AEROSOL EUROPE: What topics in the Argentine aerosol industry must be treated with priority?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: The aerosol industry in Argentina, as well as throughout Latin America, has prioritized certain topics that shape its future vision. Currently, sustainability, social and environmental impact, and the development of new markets are defining companies’ business strategy. Regarding sustainability, the aerosol industry in Latin America is working on developing new formulations, new propellant gases, and active ingredients with a lower environmental impact. The treatment and recycling of post-consumer aerosols are also important topics.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Do you see special trends with a view to aerosol packaging in Argentina?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: Aerosols in Argentina are highly developed products and widely accepted by the consumer public. While 95% of the production is concentrated in three categories (personal care, household sanitizers, and insecticides), the industry is working towards developing new markets in the medicinal, pharmaceutical, and food sectors. These new markets have the potential to create a new trend for aerosol packaging.
AEROSOL EUROPE: How are production figures developing right now?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: We do not yet have the production and consumption volumes for Latin America in 2022. The information for 2021, in millions of units, is as follows:
AEROSOL EUROPE: Communication between the national aerosol associations in Latin America under the umbrella of FLADA is well-organized. What are the weak points?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: FLADA was established in 1978, and this year it is celebrating its 45th anniversary, but we must acknowledge that it has only been able to organize itself stably since 2000. In 2011, when I assumed my first presidency of FLADA, we began working on a regional harmonization process for the regulations that govern the aerosol industry. In 2014, we decided to create the Technical Committee, which has worked on and drafted the 20 FLADA recommendations that are currently in effect and serve as a guideline for the aerosol industry in the region. Both the Board of Directors and the Technical Committee have regular meetings that serve as the foundation for communications among national associations. Our weak point lies in the fact that only 4 national associations are part of FLADA: ABAS (Brazil), IMAAC (Mexico), CCL (Chile), and CADEA (Argentina). The 5th association is CAVEA (Venezuela), but it is practically non-operational due to the state of the industry in that country. In other countries, no national associations representing the aerosol industry have been formed, and that is a major challenge for FLADA. In the future, we need to emphasize the importance of strengthening the industry with new associations in Colombia and Peru. With 95% of regional production concentrated in 3 countries, it is a priority for FLADA to expand the aerosol market to other countries.
AEROSOL EUROPE: How do you assess the future of aerosol packaging in general?
Dr. Angel Rasgido: Aerosols have been around for 80 years; by now, they are a widespread packaging system in many countries. Throughout those years, aerosols have had to adapt to new regulations and a new perspective on sustainability, which led to the replacement of CFCs.
In this 21st century, humanity is much more aware of the environmental impact of any activity or industry. Once again, aerosols will have to adapt to the new times. They will need to work on less harmful formulations and new propellant gases in order to remain a successful packaging system with consumers.
AEROSOL EUROPE: Dr. Rasgido, we thank you for this conversation.