They say every cloud has a silver lining: the 2020 thunderstorm bestowed a little of this on the aerosol industry, with BAMA’s (The British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association) annual filling survey demonstrating the strength and versatility of this sector, despite the challenging situation.
National lockdowns and closure of non-essential activities impacted everyone. The aerosol sector was quick to adjust to the changing circumstances and respond to new market needs, with overall production still in excess of 1.5 billion units, just 1.3% down on 2019.
There have been variations by product category. Hard surface cleaners grew 255%, from 14 million in 2019 to exceeding 50 million units in 2020, while household product filling saw a general increase, with the exception of shoe polish. Veterinary products also saw a surge in production by 170%. Both of these shifts seem to come as direct consequence of the pandemic, with homes and public places looking to improve hygiene standards, and restrictions on social interaction leading to a peak in pet adoptions and pet care.
The unusually warm Spring of 2020 pushed up demand for insecticides: working from home meant that the presence of insects was more noticeable and possibly more annoying. This product grew by 40%.
Unsurprisingly, with few opportunities to go out, hair spray sales were down by nearly 5% and other cosmetic products such as suntan and bronzing sprays declined by two thirds. There was an even bigger reduction for novelty products, which include silly strings and glitter sprays: reduced to a quarter of the previous year’s output.
The stalwart of UK aerosol production for many years has been anti-perspirants, these saw a decrease of nearly 16% in 2020. Body sprays partially compensated by gaining 7.6% and reaching a total output of 353 million units. Sales of shaving preps continues to show a gentle decline, with a loss of 6.5% from the 157 million of 2019.
Sales in other aerosol categories kept fairly stable. BAMA figures show some ups and down across the years, in different sectors, this is often affected by the data received and where the product filling has been distributed by those contributing.
Export volume from UK aerosol manufacturers continues to be very strong, both to the EU and around the World. BAMA looks forward to seeing this continuous growth in the coming years, following new trade deals by the UK Government.