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United States Print Label Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

United States Print Label Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • September 2021
  • 133 pages
  • ID: 6155662
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The print label market was valued at USD 5.83 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 7.6 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 3.23% during the forecast period of 2021-2026. The COVID pandemic has provided opportunities for digital printing in labeling. Labels are part of the supply chains of necessities. Additionally, they serve as an essential tool for conveying information. Hence, the market has witnessed an increased demand for food, hygiene, pharmaceutical labels, and labeling information related to e-commerce sales. Short runs on a regular and increasing basis have become the norm. The United States label industry played a key role in the initial month of the outbreak. The label converters in the US delivered printed products that were in high demand during the COVID-19 outbreak. Hammer Packaging, the label converter in New York, reported a new production milestone. The company shipped more than one billion labels during April 2020. i.e., almost one billion products are ready to replenish the shelves.

Digital technology has met the multiple requirements of various end-user industries in developing attractive label designs to encourage potential consumers to make purchases. The integration of digital technology with the existing label printing techniques is expected to bring a massive change to all the small-scale and large-scale sectors, improving the overall market.
In March 2021, Lux Global Label, a converter based in Lafayette Hill, United States, invested in a new Nilpeter FA-17 flexo press to increase operator efficiency and test the limits of new robust products to the market.
Moreover, flexography printing is expected to drive the print label market in the country. With the rise in automation, customers want their products as close to the order time as possible. Faster turnaround times are becoming more vital than ever to meet demand. Flexographic printer with continuous print solutions, more software integrations into the presses and technologies, and durability would meet customer demand in shorter lead times.
Furthermore, Alphasonics USA ( Virginia), and Eaglewood Technologies in Minnesota, have announced a strategic partnership designed to bring one of the most advanced anilox cleaning technologies to the flexographic printing market.
In September 2020, Three prominent label and packaging industry suppliers announced the formation of a strategic partnership. Cyngient, MPS, and Imageworx have joined forces to offer labels and packaging converters a comprehensive resource covering various essential elements of the workflow and supply chain, leveraging the newly renovated 31,500 square foot Imageworx facility Levittown (US), just outside of Philadelphia. This location doubles as the site of the new MPS North American Demo and Applications Center.
Moreover, paper film stocks tend to be less durable than films, potentially ripping or wrinkling over time if proper care is not taken during the application process. However, labeling about environmental regulation will also hinder the growth of the print label market. If a label remains on an item during recycling, it will hinder the recyclability of the item. For example, when labeled corrugated boxes are recycled, wet strength paper labels do not hinder box recycling, but if the film is used instead of wet strength paper, the label could not have been recycled.

Key Market Trends

Pressure-sensitive Labels Accounts for the Largest Market Share

Pressure-sensitive labels (PSL) consist of five individual layers, such as liner, release coat, adhesive, face stock, and topcoat, and are analogous to a high-tech sticker. A PSL can use paper, film, and foil as its primary label materials and can be used with a wide range of inks to produce sharp and bright colors.
The PSL is one of the most widely used forms of label applicator, as it does not require any heat, solvent, or water to activate; it only takes light or moderate pressure to apply it to a product surface. According to the Resource Label Group and all subsidiaries, PSLs constitute more than 80% of all labels in the market.
Moreover, according to Paper Recycles, the recycling rate of Paper in the United States was 65.7 percent in 2020. This was a slight reduction from the previous year when the recycling rate was 66.2 percent. Paper recycling in the U.S. has improved significantly over the past three decades.
Further, the market in the region is moving towards sustainable solutions, which would be responsible for rapid growth in the future. For instance, in June 2020, Mohawk Fine Papers Inc., a manufacturer of fine papers, envelopes, and specialty materials for printing, launched a portfolio of papers made from rapidly renewable, sustainable fibers. As part of this new product range, Mohawk announced a strategic partnership with UPM Raflatac Americas. They will be offering roll-fed, pressure-sensitive labeling solutions made with Mohawk Renewal Hemp and Straw paper face stocks.
Additionally, amidst the COVID-19 situation, the food, beverage, and healthcare segment have shown more positive growth. The vendors serving these industries are working on the front line to continue producing and supplying label materials for critical consumer and healthcare products. However, the raw material prices are rising, coupled with increased competition and evolving printing and decorating technologies.

Beverage is Expected to Account For Significant Market Share

The beverage is one of the primary end-user industries for the US print label market, owing to the high rate of adoption of innovative label and packaging in the beverage sectors and the growing market for the health drinks segment.
Sales of significant beverage categories were around USD 150 billion in 2020 and are expected to cross USD 170 billion by 2024. Although the consumption of some beverage segments in the country was affected during the pandemic, the scope of many segments expanded due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Like bottled water, flavored sparkling water, and dairy alternatives, Beverages are significantly performing well in 2021.
Furthermore, the country is home to some of the largest carbonated beverage companies, along with a strong market for energy drinks, which are increasingly adopting new packaging techniques to attract customers. These companies are also printing their ingredients on their labels, as health-related concerns are growing among US consumers, expanding the scope of printing. Also, these ingredients may vary between brands and specific energy drink products.
With the growing wine market, the need for labeling is becoming crucial. Most of the wine labels use paper label look or no label look with film label. In addition, labels need to be designed to withstand the environment in which they are shipped, stored, and used. Therefore, the growing number of wineries in the country will also expand label printing and manufacturing.
Further, the US vendors invest in collaboration and acquisition strategies to enrich their label solutions and increase brand awareness. For instance, US-based Fort Dearborn Company acquired Walle Corporation, a leading supplier of cut & stack, roll-fed, and shrink sleeve labels. This acquisition helped the company grow more in the printed label solutions in the US, primarily for the food, beverage, and household products segments.

Competitive Landscape

The United States print label market is moderately concentrated, owing to the presence of many large and small players in the market operating in the domestic and international market. Players are adopting key strategies, such as product innovation, strategic partnerships, expansions, and mergers and acquisitions. Some of the key developments in the market are:

June 2021 - WestRock Company announced an expansion of its product packaging offerings with the launch of its EverGrow Collection. Its baskets, carriers, punnets, and tills have been designed for easy stacking, operational efficiencies, and superior branding at retail.
May 2021 - Brady Corporation announced the acquisition of Magicard Limited for about GBP 42 million. Brady Corporation will fund the purchase with monies held outside of the US. Magicard, with the expectation of a sale of roughly GBP 23 million.

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