Table of Contents
US demand to approach $20 billion by 2019
Label demand in the US is forecast to approach $20 billion in 2019. Growth will be aided by continued expansion of the overall economy as well as increases in manufacturing activity and retail sales. The pressure sensitive segment will remain dominant, accounting for more than 75 percent of the total market. Growth for pressure sensitive labels will be in line with the overall average, with faster gains held back by the already high penetration of pressure sensitives, along with competition from alternatives such as heatshrink and in-mold labels (IML). Nonetheless, innovations in printed electronics will spur greater use of low cost smart labels with packaged goods and other display applications.
Heat-shrink, in-mold labels to be fastest growing
Heat-shrink and in-mold labels will see the fastest growth through 2019. Gains for heat-shrink types will be attributable to their 360-degree aesthetics, high quality images, a maximum promotional area, and ability to form-fit contoured containers. Advances for in-mold labels will be supported by their enhanced shelf appeal based on superior graphics and the growing range of containers and applications using IML.
Plastic film to continue supplanting paper stock
While paper will continue to represent the majority of label stock through 2019 and beyond, plastic films will continue to expand their share at paper’s expense. The growing use of plastic films is based on the aesthetic and performance advantages of these labels, as well as the rising utilization of plastic packaging and the popularity of the no-label look. Additionally, labeling methods that rely heavily on plastic substrates are becoming more popular. Nonetheless, paper label demand will benefit from economy advantages and the ability to be coated for enhanced durability. Paper’s metalizing and texturing capability will also promote growth in higher-end uses.
Digital label printing to outpace flexography
Flexography is the leading label printing technology in the US and is forecast to log slightly above average growth through 2019, driven by its versatility, low cost, good image quality, and widespread use in the large pressure sensitive segment and the faster growing sleeve label segment. However, digital printing will post well above average growth through 2019, continuing to displace traditional label decoration techniques, such as lithography, flexography, and screen. Advances will reflect improvements in print quality and speed that will fuel growing adoption of digital printing by label converters and printers. Among the advantages of digital printing are increased design flexibility, shortened lead times, and low costs.
Secondary labeling to be fastest growing function
Primary packaging dominates label demand in terms of function. Though growth will slightly trail the overall average through 2019, gains will be aided by ongoing opportunities in the large food and beverage markets, as well as above average gains in the packaging of pharmaceuticals. Secondary labeling and mailing and shipping applications will represent the fastest growing markets for labels. In secondary labeling, advances will be supported by favorable retail sales, along with solid prospects for barcoding labels for inventory and data tracking and in the healthcare, transportation, and distribution sectors.
This upcoming industry study, Labels, presents historical demand data (2004, 2009 and 2014) plus forecasts (2019 and 2024) by material, application method, printing technology, and function. The study also considers market environment factors, analyzes industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 45 US industry players.
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