Global production of aluminium aerosol cans reaches new record in 2014
Despite the numerous trouble spots around the world and restrained economic growth in many areas, the production figures released by the international producers of aluminium aerosol cans have only been heading in one direction for years: upwards. The industry also reported positive results for 2014. After a series of records in recent years production grew again last year: by four per cent to 7.6 billion cans. The companies that are members of AEROBAL, the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers, account for about 70 per cent of total production worldwide.
Gregor Spengler, Secretary General of Düsseldorf-based AEROBAL, is pleased with the results: “Disproportionately high growth compared with almost all important global economic indicators demonstrates the excellent performance of aluminium aerosol cans in the packaging market worldwide. At the same time, this success is impressive proof of the unique benefits of aluminium as a material. It is not without good reason that about half of all aerosol containers produced worldwide today are made from aluminium. And the opportunities for the aluminium can are far from being exhausted.”
A glance at the statistics for 2014 shows where the future potential lies: 47 per cent of all cans were supplied to the European market and about 33 per cent to the markets of North and South America. There was marked growth in the Asia-Pacific region with over 14 per cent market share. Growing economies, increasing prosperity and a rise in the number of consumers will provide important impulses for growth in this region. Other geographic regions account for the remaining five per cent.
Every second aluminium aerosol can produced and used worldwide contains a deodorant or an antiperspirant. Hairsprays, hair mousses, shaving foams and other cosmetic and care products are a good way behind, with each accounting for less than ten per cent of the total market. Altogether almost 80 per cent of all aluminium cans produced go the cosmetics market.
Five per cent of the aluminium cans are supplied to the pharmaceutical sector, the broad-ranging household products sector uses about ten per cent, and only about two per cent of all cans are used today in the food sector.
“This must not necessarily stay that way for ever,” says Gregor Spengler. “There will be new potential for growth particularly in the fields of pharmacy and medicine due to higher hygiene standards and improved primary health care across the board. And I definitely see opportunities for growth in the food and household products sectors as well as a result of innovative products and ideas.”
Good reasons therefore for AEROBAL and its member companies to look to the future with optimism. AEROBAL President Giorgio Aliprandi has a similar view: “It is difficult to make a reliable forecast, of course, because of the numerous political trouble spots around the world. The global markets remain fragile and exchange rate fluctuations on the currency markets harbour additional risks.
“Our member companies are facing considerable challenges as a result of ever-smaller batch sizes, ever-shorter delivery times and the trend to zero stock-keeping on the part of the clients. So far we have been able to master this, though, by means of innovations and flexibility, optimised logistics and increased productivity. I’m sure that we will be able to achieve this in future, too. And new demands also bring ever more novel solutions and opportunities for innovative and flexible manufacturing technologies. In future, a sustained trend towards smaller order quantities and more pronounced individualisation of products and end users will favour the use of digital printing and other flexible printing and refining processes.”
Last but not least, the global trend towards lightweight solutions for an increasingly mobile society will play even more into the hand of the aluminium can. The light metal simply has an advantage there. And aluminium cans also score convincingly well when it comes to sustainability: it offers infinite recyclability and is thus a resource-conserving, permanent material for future generations making it so important and valuable for the future of our planet.