UK aerosol industry exceeded expectations in 2020, says BAMA

The UK aerosol industry ‘exceeded’ performance expectations in 2020, despite the pandemic.

Figures released by the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA) as part of its annual filling survey show the strength and versatility of the sector, despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 crisis.

Although national lockdowns and the closure of non-essential retail impacted everyone, the aerosol industry was quick to adjust to the changing circumstances and respond to new market needs, said BAMA, with overall production still above 1.5 billion units, just 1.3% down on 2019.

Breaking down the categories, hard surface cleaners grew by 255%, from 14 million in 2019 to above 50 million units in 2020, while household product filling saw a general increase, except for shoe polish. Veterinary products also saw a surge in production by 170%. Both of these shifts seem to be linked to 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.

An ‘unusually warm’ spring last year pushed up demand for insecticides. Working from home meant that the presence of insects was more noticeable and possibly more annoying, said BAMA. This product category increased by 40%.

Without opportunities to go out due to COVID-19 restrictions, hairspray 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 (commonly used for parties); the segment reduced to a quarter of 2019’s output.

The stalwart of UK aerosol production for many years has been antiperspirants, but this category also saw a decrease of nearly 16% in 2020. Body sprays partially compensated for this decline by gaining 7.6% and reaching a total output of 353 million units. Sales of shaving products continue to show a gentle decline, said BAMA, with a loss of 6.5% compared to 2019.

Sales in other aerosol categories remained stable. BAMA’s figures show some ups and downs across the years, in different sectors, which are 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 strong, both to the EU and around the world. BAMA said it is looking forward to seeing this continuous growth in the coming years, following new trade deals by the UK Government.

More details and analysis will be available in the May/June edition of World Aerosols magazine.

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