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.
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.
Flexography is the leading label printing technology in the United States, 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.
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 U.S. industry players.