Growth in UK Aerosol Sector for 5th Successive Year

The UK aerosol sector has grown for the fifth year running, according to figures released this month (May 2016) by the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA). The annual UK filling figures show an overall increase of 2% for 2015 compared with the previous year.

In total, UK producers filled 1539.8million aerosols cans in 2015 compared with 1509.7 million in 2014, with aerosols produced for both the UK and overseas markets. The leading category, personal care, remains strong with some very high growth rates in other categories too – notably insecticides, pet & veterinary and some sub-sectors within the household category.

Personal Care 

Once again, the largest growth in a single personal care product category came from suntan and bronzing products with an increase of 68% year on year (y.o.y.), albeit from a relatively small but fast-growing base. The previous year, just 2.5 million cans were filled; in 2015 this rose to 4.2million which BAMA believes is due to the convenience and excellent product delivery of an aerosol format for this type of product.

Hairspray products also remain very buoyant with 15% y.o.y. growth with 112.8million cans filled, compared with 97.8 million the previous year. Much of this growth can be attributed to the popularity of dry shampoos.

The largest single aerosol segment, deodorants, anti-perspirants & body sprays, is also a strong category showing a 5% y.o.y. growth, up from 754.8 million in 2014 to 790 million in 2015. The previous y.o.y growth had been 7%.

What BAMA refers to as ‘other personal care’ increased massively by over a half (54% y.o.y. increase). This category is a catch-all for personal insect repellents, shower gels, hand lotions, talcs, depilatories and feminine care products. It benefited from 23 million cans filled by UK companies last year. Much of this growth is attributable to range extensions such as skin creams and lotions in aerosol formats.

Despite strong overall growth, some personal care categories, however, declined. Colognes & perfumes in aerosol format once again fell, this time by -10% (with 8.1milion can filled); and shaving products also fell by -11% although these remain a significant category with 170.1 million cans filled, continuing to reflect the ongoing men’s fashion for facial hair.

Household aerosol products

The biggest percentage growth in household products once again came from insecticides with a massive 81% increase in aerosol fillings in the UK. Insecticides grew by 11.2 million in 2015 compared with 6.2 million cans in 2014 and just 4.2 million cans produced in 2013.

Oven cleaners also grew substantially, albeit from a relatively low base. This category showed growth of 145%, with 2.7million oven cleaner products filled.

Both of these categories have been the subject of mergers and acquisitions and a strengthening of the manufacturing base.

Large proportionate growth also came from starches, up 21% y.o.y. at 3.9million cans filled. Waxes and polished also grew, by 2% up to 22.8 million, as did paints and lacquers both these categories – starch and paints/lacquers had fallen the year before. Hard surface cleaners grew by 2% to 13.5million units filled.
Air fresheners declined slightly but remain a massive market at 179.8. The decline was -3%.

Air freshening products remain popular and this is a stable and mature market. Analysts at BAMA believe that the decline may be the result of the uncommonly mild winter which meant that homes could be ventilated more than would usually be the case in mid-winter.

Other household products fell by -48% to 40.2 million cans.

The relatively small category of shoe & leather cleaners – a big area of growth in 2014 – last year declined by -11% to 3.4 million.

As with much of the data, the increase indicates possible movement in patterns of production with a return to the UK rather than showing swings in consumer usage patterns.


Automotive aerosol products grew significantly in 2015. In total 45.5million cans were filled, compared with 32.8 million units in 2014, an increase of 39% y.o.y. This is one of the UK’s several strong export stories.


Veterinary & pet care growth was up 63% to 4.9 million cans.


Industrial aerosols, which showed a strong increase the previous year, last year declined by -8% with 35.3 million cans filled. This category had until now showed strong UK growth since 2011.


Products in the ‘miscellaneous’ segment which includes novelty and seasonal products – such as faux snow – grew by 15% to 22.6 million, up from 19.6 million in 2014. Much of this sector goes to export so contributing to the UK aerosol sector’s international growth.


Patrick Heskins, Chief Executive of BAMA, said: “For the fifth successive year the UK aerosol sector has grown. This upward trend, which began in 2011 with a year on year growth overall of 9%, has steadily continued which is pleasing but not surprising.

“The aerosol sector makes an important contribution to British manufacturing and export successes. I think people are widely acknowledging just how environmentally sustainable this category is. This is not only because aerosols are recyclable, as most are made of high-grade metal, but because they are sustainable in other ways too. They avoid product damage and wastage as the method of dispensing means the product is delivered in the right place and in the right quantity, with no mess, no product degradation due to the can being sealed and therefore no waste. Manufacturers are recognising these unique qualities as witnessed by the range extensions which have contributed to some of the growth in the personal care category.”

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