The global production of aluminium aerosol cans continued its steady upward trend in 2017 and achieved an outstanding result yet again: some 8.1 billion cans in total. The 25 member companies of the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL), who account for about 75 per cent of all aerosol cans produced worldwide, reported an increase in production of two per cent.
The latest figures from AEROBAL show a better-than-average performance in the perfume and deodorant markets, which again proved to be reliable guarantors for growth in 2017. There was also above-average growth in aerosol cans for other products from the cosmetics sector, such as shower gels, sun creams and dry shampoos. Overall, some 84 per cent of all aluminium aerosol cans went into the cosmetics sector in 2017. In the coming years, this sector will also take the lion’s share of the cans produced and maintain its outstanding position because of bigger demand created by additional potential consumers who will result from improving living standards worldwide, particularly in the emerging markets but also in third world countries.
Demand from the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector has also become more important recently. “The pharma industry is increasingly discovering the benefits of the aluminium aerosol can,” says Gregor Spengler, AEROBAL’s secretary general. “Besides its high standard of product safety, the aerosol can also offer clear benefits in practical use when compared with alternative forms of packaging. Here I’m thinking in particular of very precise dispensing as well as accurate and extremely hygienic application. Moreover, the aerosol can is simple and convenient to use.”
Gregor Spengler points out that it is for good reason that regulatory requirements for aerosol cans are stringent, particularly in the pharma sector. This means it takes considerably longer to introduce new products in this sector than in others. “Therefore, I’m convinced that we’re now seeing only the beginning of a very promising market development in the pharma sector and that this field still has immense possibilities and market opportunities to offer for the aluminium aerosol can.”
In contrast, demand from the global food sector developed differently in 2017. In the important North American market with its strong turnover, this sector has already become a considerable factor and it is continually growing thanks to new products and ideas. However, such an encouraging trend has not yet been able to manifest itself in Europe, the other large market for the aluminium aerosol can.
Overall, Gregor Spengler’s assessment of the prospects for the aluminium aerosol can in 2018 is positive. Capacity utilisation is at a high level at companies worldwide, the global economy is proving to be resilient and new ideas and projects that have been developed and tackled jointly by can manufacturers and their clients are providing grounds for optimism for a further increase in volumes in 2018.
Marked increases in the price of aluminium and higher costs for lacquers, printing inks and transportation services are posing a major challenge for the industry. In addition, the changeover to alternative lacquer systems triggered by the on-going discussions about BPA and NMP is proving to be more complex and time-consuming than expected.
Nevertheless, Gregor Spengler remains confident: “I know how capable and innovative our companies are. That’s why I’m convinced they will tackle these challenges effectively by adopting the greatest possible flexibility, rigorous cost control, use of even more efficient processes, and technical advancements. And to achieve the desired further downgauging of aluminium aerosol cans, additional investments in research and development as well as the use of new alloys and other forward-looking technologies are taking place. These measures will result in state-of-the-art packaging solutions that satisfy the needs and requirements of the market. They will further improve the already exemplary sustainability and high resource efficiency of the aluminium aerosol can and boost its chances in the highly competitive global packaging market.”
Head of Packaging in Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie e. V. (GDA)
AEROBAL Secretary General
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