Chemical & Engineering News,
May 8, 1995

Copyright © 1995 by the American Chemical Society.

Aerosol Producers Enjoy Banner Year

Susan Ainsworth

The aerosol industry enjoyed its biggest year ever in 1994, according to the 44th annual survey on pressurized products conducted by the Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association. Released at CSMA's midyear meeting in Chicago last week, the survey shows a 4.5% increase in the number of tinplate, aluminum, and glass aerosol units filled in the U.S. and Puerto Rico in 1994 compared with 1993. The estimated industry total of 3.07 billion aerosol containers filled last year is the highest in the history of the industry, exceeding the previous record of 2.99 billion units set in 1992.

Mirroring improvement in the U.S. economy, nearly every product category posted gains in 1994 in the number of aerosol containers filled. The record-breaking total can be attributed in great part to the 4.4% increase in the personal care products category, which as the largest single aerosol category represents about 31% of the total market, according to Patrick Grant, Pressurized Products Survey Committee chairman and national sales manager for aerosols at Peerless Tube Co., based in Bloomfield, N.J. In particular, "demand for personal deodorants saw a good increase," he says.

Paint products, which make up 13% of the aerosol market, also buoyed the 1994 total by posting a 4.8% gain in the number of units filled. And the food products category, which accounts for 6% of the market, grew 4.7% in 1994 over 1993. Within that category, nonstick vegetable oil pan sprays "saw an extraordinary increase," Grant points out.

In the third largest aerosol product category - automotive and industrial products - the number of units filled grew about 4% in 1994 largely because of "continued interest by motorists to care for their cars," says Grant. And even the smallest product category, animal products, contributed to 1994 record aerosol output; that segment was the biggest gainer, with 7.3% more units filled in 1994 than in 1993.

The 1994 figures for the number of aerosol units filled are likely more accurate than those gathered the year earlier. Confidential responses from 111 companies that fill and market aerosol products represented more than 89% of total aerosol production last year, compared with only 84% in 1993. As usual, to arrive at the 1994 total, the Pressurized Products Survey Committee estimated contributions for nonreporting firms.

In 1994, for the first time, the survey asked marketers and fillers to disclose the gross number of filled containers that they exported. The number for 1994 was more than 119 million units.


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