How 2020 events impacted the U.S. aerosol industry: The Aerosol Pressurized Products Survey will help us understand

Written on: January 1, 2021 by Nicholas Georges

Another year has come and gone and 2020 certainly presented its own set of challenges. However, with these challenges came new opportunities. As we look ahead to 2021, we also begin to think about the Aerosol Pressurized Products Survey, which is the best tool the aerosol industry has to analyze domestic aerosol production. This annual survey reports on the unit production of aerosol products, valves and containers in the U.S. in order to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the aerosol industry and share relevant information on the size and trends of aerosol products and component production across the country.

This was a difficult and extraordinary year, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting our daily lives in ways that few could predict—and that disruption had a significant impact on the U.S. aerosol industry.

The Aerosol Pressurized Products Survey provides robust and accurate data that aerosol companies rely on to gauge their overall growth in comparison to the industry, identify potential opportunities within product categories and reassess their sales strategy, production planning and future investments. Beyond these uses within the industry, the data and results can also be used to communicate with legislators, regulators and other key stakeholders about the economic impact of the aerosol industry.

Because this report is so critical in analyzing the condition of the aerosol industry—and with so many disruptions in 2020—it is even more important than ever for manufacturers of aerosol products, as well as suppliers of valves and containers, to participate in the survey in order to develop an accurate picture of the industry.

When conducting this survey, HCPA is extremely careful to protect each participating company’s confidential business information. HCPA contracts a third-party survey firm, Association Research, Inc. (ARI), to administer the survey and collect the results. Using a third-party survey firm ensures that participants’ information remains confidential and is not shared with anyone at HCPA, on the survey committee or in the industry. The survey committee is made up of volunteers from valve, container and propellant companies, and recruits aerosol manufacturers from across the U.S. to participate in the survey.

While the survey committee makes every effort to get each and every aerosol company to participate, there are still companies who don’t respond to the survey. In order to account for this missing information, the survey committee meets with ARI to provide its insight on the market in order to estimate the missing production for each product category.

ARI provides a one-time report of aggregate data for the companies that have participated, then identifies the non-responding companies. The survey committee estimates the product category market of the non-respondents by utilizing their sales data and market knowledge. For most product categories, this estimation is based on valve sales. In the cases when valve sales cannot be used, container sales data is used. These estimates are provided directly to ARI to ensure confidentiality.

No individual company—whether a valve or container supplier or aerosol product filler—is ever singled out or specifically named. ARI further protects the confidentiality of respondents by withholding subcategory data from the survey committee if there are too few respondents or if a single manufacturer reports a majority of the market.

Every year, the survey committee elicits feedback from the industry on methods of improvement. Based on recent feedback, the survey committee made the following changes this year:

• Fillers are being asked to report their product categories into various subcategories. The survey committee removed subcategories in last year’s survey to help streamline the process and increase participation rates. Participation rates did increase; however, the industry indicated that including subcategories provided more insight into the market and was valuable to the survey report.
• This year’s survey will request information related to disinfectant products and air fresheners separately to account for changes in consumer behavior related to COVID-19.
• More detail was added to the subcategories so that fillers can better identify where their products should be reported, as well as provide more examples of the “Other” subcategory in each product category so that fewer products are reported as “Miscellaneous.”
• The Animal Product category has historically been a fraction of a percent of the overall aerosol production in the U.S.
As a result, the Animal Products category is being removed and this information will now be included in the Household Products category.

Participation in the survey improves the accuracy of the results and makes it easier to estimate the remaining totals needed to generate the final results. When fewer companies participate, it weakens the industry’s ability to understand year-over-year growth in specific product categories and makes it more challenging for companies to identify potential market opportunities.

We don’t yet know how the changes in consumer and worker purchasing behavior will transfer into future years; we do know that the 2020 production totals will look different than in years past, and the Aerosol Pressurized Products Survey will help the industry understand what was an outlier and what was the start of a new trend.

For more information, please contact SPRAY