A conversation with Tony Brealey (Premium)

AEROSOL EUROPE: Could you please present your company Reabrook briefly to our worldwide readership?

Tony Brealey: Reabrook is a dedicated formulator, manufacturer and filler of aerosol, liquid and tube products under the brands of Reabrook Health & Beauty and Reabrook Manufacturing. Our aim is to create exceptional products for our customers by providing a full service set of solutions spanning creative & design, product development, sourcing, manufacturing, quality assurance, compliance and finally, logistics. We have a client list that boasts many large high-street stores, multinationals, manufacturers, distributors and brand agencies. Reabrook also provides a corporate service for its two brands Arrow Solutions and Nielsen Chemicals. Arrow Solutions was established in 1968 and supplies the UK and International markets with a wide range of industry leading cleaning and maintenance products. Nielsen’s range of automotive care products are sold through a network of UK and Global distributors, to more than 40 countries.

AEROSOL EUROPE: How do you position your company within the international aerosol industry?

Tony Brealey: Brands are progressively crossing international borders, so we are increasingly approached by customers from the global market. We support these customers by ensuring that the products we manufacture are compliant to any local or international market by understanding regulations and providing specialist technical support for product ingredients, labelling, packaging and logistics.

AEROSOL EUROPE: What actions have you already taken at your company in order to confront the consequences of Brexit?

Tony Brealey: We have taken many measures to offset the uncertainty regarding the planned UK exit from the EU and have formulated an understanding of the risks involved and have established a clear path through the concerns we and our customers are facing. Additionally, we have liaised with customers to agree additional stockholding and are working with suppliers to ensure they are providing adequate provisions based on the potential outcomes for Brexit.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Where do you see your core markets?

Tony Brealey: As our business operates in many diverse markets, we would need to categorise core markets for each brand. Reabrook Health and Beauty for example, has seen rapid growth recently and is still expanding. We are now able to offer a multitude of products and with our increased aerosol capacity and the recent investments in both tube and bottle personal care lines, is now able to offer a huge portfolio of products for the Beauty and Personal Care markets. Each of our brands has an individual core market and we work hard as a business to ensure we strongly support each one.

AEROSOL EUROPE: How do you regard the development of aerosol products in Great Britain in the medium term?

Tony Brealey: With over 1.566 billion aerosol products filled in the UK in 2018, it’s clear to see that the UK Aerosol Industry remains a healthy market. In the medium term, it is now key that we continue to innovate and create products that fulfill the needs of present and future generations of consumers, as their needs develop and change going forward. I also believe that the standards created by BAMA have led the world for safety and responsible manufacturing and because of this, we have seen this form the basis of EU regulations. I believe that it is this legacy that enables UK aerosol manufacturers to be at the forefront of the aerosol industry by constantly driving innovation and improvements across design, production, usage and materials; all of which will drive sustainable growth for the future.

AEROSOL EUROPE: What trends do you see on the British aerosol market?

Tony Brealey: The global packaging market is facing some tough questions regarding sustainable packaging, and this is likely to have an impact on the aerosol market. Even in 2019, the aerosol industry is still fighting misconceptions concerning sustainability, despite the many changes already implemented. CFC gases are no longer in use and have not been in use since 1989, when the industry replaced CFCs with liquefied gases (and in some cases compressed gas). Consumers however still hold the misconception that aerosol products cause damage to the ozone layer. To improve sustainability further, BAMA have also worked with various organisations to increase the percentage of Local Authorities accepting aerosols in their kerbside collection to 96% by 2018. With aluminium and steel being more widely recycled than ever before, aerosol cans are far more sustainable than consumers think.

AEROSOL EUROPE: What is the main issue which needs to be discussed urgently within the industry?

Tony Brealey: The most pressing issue for the near future is that of sustainability. Sustainability is no longer a trend, it is a cause of the present. Aerosol cans are made of either aluminium or steel, both of which are high-value metals that can be infinitely recycled into new metal products. We are also working with technology to replace some of the propellants we use with compressed air which, due to the design of the product, can be sprayed from any angle. For many applications, aerosols are the optimum delivery method and allow for products to be delivered safely and effectively.

AEROSOL EUROPE: How do you assess the Chinese aerosol market?

Tony Brealey: It is without doubt that the Chinese aerosol industry is catching up on European competitors with regard to technology and production speeds however they are still facing environmental issues and concerns over product safety. Heightened awareness from consumers over product air miles and the associated environmental concerns may also have an impact going forward on aerosols manufactured in China for the British and European Markets. That said, current usage of aerosols within China is still relatively low but rising steadily however, if aerosol usage increases in line with Europe per head of population, the potential market size will be enormous.

AEROSOL EUROPE: What is your opinion of the Indian market, which holds great potential?

Tony Brealey: Expanding key end-use industries and rapid industrialisation in India are the major factors driving the aerosol market growth. India is witnessing fast-paced industrialisation and urbanisation, creating significant potential for the aerosol market to grow. Also, vehicle production is increasing which is expected to drive the demand of supporting products used for paints and coatings application in vehicles.  Additionally, the increasing usage of aerosol products for stain removing, pre-wash sprays, shoe-polish, water and starch removal in the leather and fabrics industry is expected to further drive growth. Again though, as with any developing nation which has seen such rapid growth, it may exhaust resources and create environmental problems for future generations, so protection of the environment and human workers is key, as the rate of growth increases.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Last year, you were elected Chairman of the British aerosol association BAMA. What were your goals as you assumed your new position within BAMA?

Tony Brealey: To promote best practice within the UK aerosol industry. Safety, quality and perfromance are key to ensuring the future growth of the UK aerosol industry. Our challenge is ensuring everyone within the UK aerosol industry sees the benefit of being a BAMA member. This will ensure that every aerosol product manufactured by BAMA members follows The BAMA standard; creating safe, sustainable products for global consumers.

AEROSOL EUROPE: What is BAMA doing in order to assist the British aerosol industry, precisely with a view to the exit of Great Britain from the EU?

Tony Brealey: We are monitoring the current situation very closely. As soon as the exit plan is confirmed we will ensure that we work with all BAMA members to prepare them for any eventuality. As part of this process, we have already represented our members within parliament and have engaged with Government bodies to ensure the industry receives the required support, post Brexit.

AEROSOL EUROPE: Mr. Brealey, we thank you for this interview.