Following years of continuous growth, the global aluminum aerosol can market has paused for a breath. The International Organization of Aluminum Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL) reported a slight decline of 1% year-on-year in production worldwide for the first half of 2015.
AEROBAL’s Secretary General Gregor Spengler does not find the figures particularly disturbing.
“After years of unabated growth, it is only natural that there is consolidation in the market that can lead to a slight decline in demand and production,” said Spengler. “If one considers the extremely difficult economic situation worldwide and the general political situation and takes the record level from last year into account at the same time, this small halt in growth is not a disaster.”
Demand for aluminum aerosol cans stagnated in Europe, which was not surprising after several years of sustained growth in a market that continues to show per capita consumption rates at record levels. Russia and the markets in Asia and South America, and in particular the BRIC countries, were unable to meet their ambitious goals. The U.S. market also showed a weaker trend in the first half of the year; however, there are already signs of improvement in the second half of the year.
The lion’s share of all aluminum aerosol can production continues to go to the deodorant and perfume markets, with market share a stable 80%. At just over 10%, there was a noticeable decline in the food sector compared with the previous year’s figures. This sector did not live up to what was expected of it, particularly in Europe, according to AEROBAL. However, there was a clear increase in production figures for the pharmaceutical sector, where growth was only just short of being double-digit. The markets for household and technical products also bucked the trend.
AEROBAL, whose members account for over 70% of global production of aluminum aerosol cans, is hopeful. Global demand improved slightly at the beginning of the second half of the year and it appears possible that there might even be slight growth for the whole of 2015.
The ever-smaller lot sizes increasingly demanded from customers are a challenge for the industry, explained AEROBAL. This leads not only to increased retooling, but at the same time increases the complexity of production throughout the entire process chain.
“I am sure that with their expertise, modern manufacturing facilities, flexibility and innovative capability, our members will successfully face these challenges as they have done in previous years,” commented AEROBAL President Giorgio Aliprandi. “This also applies to the increased customer interest in weight savings, the use of new alloys and the use of recycled materials. Our World Aluminum Aerosol Can Award demonstrates what remarkable solutions AEROBAL companies have already developed. Other examples of innovative cans can also be found at www.aerobal.org or in our free online magazine CANS, which can be ordered via [email protected]”
AEROBAL is also confident when it comes to possible competition from plastic aerosol cans, which have so far only been used in a few niche markets. Aluminum aerosol can manufacturers must be on their guard and counter this potential alternative with the obvious benefits of the aluminum can, according to AEROBAL.
As a recognized permanent material, aluminum offers recyclability without any loss in quality or high material recycling rates. Aluminum cans do not suffer from material fatigue, exhibit good barrier properties and are compatible with all common propellants and contents. Consumers perceive aluminum as a high-grade material that differentiates it both visually and tactilely, resulting in enhancement at point of sale.