Global demand for labels on packaging rises

Global demand for labels on packaging, including cans, grew by 3.2 percent in 2019, according to a new report.

The healthy condition of the labelling market is documented in the report, which explores different facets of labelling across all the main formats – pressure-sensitive, glue-applied, sleeving, in-mould labels – and their supply chain characteristics across different regions of the world.

While the growth —  to 66,216 million square metres, or the area of Sri Lanka — spans all label types and product decoration technologies, 40 per cent of these volumes were in pressure-sensitive labels and 35 per cent in glue-applied labels, according to the 14th edition of Global Annual Review Labeling & Product Decoration from Netherlands-based market intelligence specialist AWA Alexander Watson Associates.

Today, 19 per cent of labels are used in sleeve labelling technologies, the report added. Shrink sleeve labels are increasingly used on cans by craft beer brewers because of the technology’s flexibility to produce economic quantities of different designs in low batch quantities of product.

For example, New York-based DWS Printing is seeing increased demand for the shrink sleeve labels and labelling services it offers craft brewers in the US because of the high quality print it is able to produce and smaller batch quantities that are feasible with the hybrid press system it operates.

DWS’s hybrid press incorporates both flexographic and digital inkjet capabilities using equipment supplied by MPS and Domino installed in 2018. The company is planning to open a new facility using similar equipment in Austin, Texas, in August 2020 to serve the southern States of the US.

Regionally, countries in Asia continue to claim the largest market share of the labelling market, with 45 per cent of the total, according to AWA. Europe claims 25 per cent; North America, 18 per cent; South America, 8 per cent; and Africa and the Middle East, 4 per cent.   

The study details the profiles of the different end-use application segments, including primary product labelling, variable information printing and security labelling, setting them in the context of regional market analyses. Although the forecasts were produced before the coronavirus pandemic, AWA will be providing subscribers with an update analysis taking in its impact in the third quarter of 2020.