French aerosol filling dropped in 2020, but disinfectants surged

The Comité Français des Aérosols (CFA) has revealed there was a 5.9% drop in total aerosol filling in France in 2020, but the disinfectants segment increased by 215%.

The total volume across all categories was 647 million units in 2020 compared to 668 million in 2019. According to the CFA, this drop in filling, which was predicted by the sector, represents the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.

The CFA said that despite the decline, the French aerosol industry remains in a strong position in Europe, although the figures will be confirmed when the European Aerosol Federation statistics are revealed in September.

Two categories saw a significant decline: personal care filling dropped by 8.4%, and household products declined by 5.4%. However, some segments saw a huge increase. Hygiene or ‘sanitary’ aerosol products saw a 194% increase in filling, while household products such as air fresheners saw an 11% rise, and insecticides saw a 4.1% increase. Disinfectants increased by 215%.

The miscellaneous aerosol category was ‘stable’ in 2020, said the CFA, although there were some variants within the category. In the pharmaceutical/veterinary segment, for example, there was a 1.7% drop. However, the pandemic impacted other segments, such as automotive/cycling, paints and varnishes, and technical and industrial products, which saw a 3.1% decrease in filling.

In a statement, the CFA said: “2021 will remain an exceptional year regarding the worldwide sanitary crisis. Globally, production numbers will probably be higher than 2020, expecting a higher consumption, especially for industrial, technical, and personal care products.

“The aerosol industry has proven to be dynamic and reactive, moving production towards sanitary products. That should be maintained. Society’s request for protection against COVID-19 remains a priority and capacities are now optimal. An increase in that segment is expected in 2020.”

Personal care filling – a breakdown

The total personal care category, which represents 61% of total filling with 396 million units, has reduced by 8.4% overall.

Within the personal care segment, deodorants and antiperspirants saw a 23% drop in filling compared to 2019. This segment represents a total of 14% of France’s aerosol filling. The CFA attributed the drop to lockdowns in 2020, which impacted sales.

Haircare products, outside of dry shampoo, saw a 17% drop, following growth in 2018 and 2019. The haircare products category represents 21% of France’s total aerosol filling activity. A large number of products in this segment are exported. Again, the CFA attributed this drop to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the shaving foams and gels category, there was a 3% drop in filling. According to the CFA, this drop is ‘limited’ compared to the impact on other segments in 2020, and members expected a larger drop. Shaving foams and gels represent 8% of the total activity in France.

The segment including sun care products, water sprays, dry shampoo and ‘others’ saw an increase of 20% in filling. This segment, which had seen reductions in previous years, saw a large increase. Hydro-alcoholic gel alone increased by 194%, representing more than 15 million units. Last year’s hot spring and summer are partly responsible for the increase, according to the CFA.

Household filling – a breakdown

The household filling category saw a drop of 5.6% overall, representing 66.2 million aerosol units filled in 2020, or 10% of total filling activity.

Air freshener filling saw a growth of 11%, which the CFA believes is due to lockdowns in 2020, as people spent more time at home. The air freshener segment represents 4% of France’s total filling activity.

There was growth in insecticides and plant protection aerosols – an increase of 4.1% or 1.1 million units. The CFA attributed this growth to the weather in 2020, which perhaps saw more mosquitoes and wasps present, and said that French regulations on biocide since 2019 have helped to stabilise the segment. The insecticides and plant protection category represents 4% of the total volume of aerosols filled in France.

Other household products including textile/carpet products, furniture polish, oven cleaners, bathroom and kitchen, and leather/shoe care saw a 36% drop. The CFA highlighted that this drop does not take into account disinfectants. Looked at separately, disinfectants saw a 215% increase in 2020 (from 1.96 million to 6.17 million units).

Miscellaneous filling – a breakdown

This segment saw a slight decrease of 0.4% in 2020, bringing the total aerosol filling to 185 million units. This category represents 29% of France’s total filled volume.

Automotive and cycling products, paint and varnish, and industrial and technical aerosols saw a 3.1% drop in 2020. The segment, which represents 14% of the total activity in France, has been ‘stable’ in previous years but saw a decrease due to lockdowns during the pandemic.

In the pharmaceutical/veterinary category, there was a 1.9% drop. According to the CFA, France remains a strong country in this segment and represents 13% of filling in the country. The committee believes 2020 lockdowns and increases in sanitary precautions, such as wearing masks, are responsible for a drop in demand for such products.

In terms of food and ‘various other’ aerosol filling, there was a huge increase of 106% - this followed a huge drop in 2018. The high percentage equates to 3.8 million aerosol units. The CFA said it ‘unable to explain’ from which products this growth came from in the sub-segment, ‘various others’.

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