Are pressure-sensitive labels being challenged today by the up-and-coming product decoration technologies?
--With Labelexpo Europe just around the corner, it is interesting to take a look at AWA Alexander Watson Associates’ new market analysis, AWA Global Pressure-sensitive Label Market Study 2017. The fourth edition of this examination of this established labeling technology documents the fact that, while the format indeed faces competition today from other labelling and packaging options, in 2016 it still achieved growth of 3.9% over prior year – greater growth than that of the label market as a whole -- and still commands a massive market 40% share.
As the report documents, Asia is now the leading region for pressure-sensitive label demand, eclipsing the developed markets of Europe and North America; and the format’s largest end-use market segment, globally, taking 27% of 2016 volumes, is food labelling -- mostly for primary product labels. However, as AWA Alexander Watson Associates President and CEO, Corey M Reardon, comments: ‘Variable information print (VIP) labels are a strong growth area for the versatile pressure-sensitive label, in line with the increasing requirements of today’s transportation and logistics activities, in terms not only of track-and-trace and stock and inventory management, but also for product authentication – for example, RFID-enabled labels. What is more, online consumer purchasing activities are continuing to drive VIP label developments and usage. Pressure-sensitive labels are also extremely adaptable in terms of their available application technologies, which can vary from hand-held label printers for individual packs to mass serialization on the label press.’
Overall product decoration market
The report examines all the end-use markets for pressure-sensitive labels, setting them in the highly-relevant context of the overall product decoration technology platform. ‘While glue applied labels still enjoy substantial usage globally,’ says Corey Reardon, ‘the new sleeving technologies now enjoy a significant market share and continue to grow, while in-mold labeling remains a niche but growing market. Direct-to-container digital print is an area to watch, and flexible packaging has the capability to revolutionize the whole product packaging market. Labelexpo Europe will be a fascinating opportunity to review the status quo.’