Developing economies are driving growth for the labels market

Economic and lifestyle changes and the focus on sustainable packaging will drive labelling market growth by 5.4 per cent annually during the period 2016-2021 to $44.8 billion, according to a new report by Smithers Pira.

In ‘The Future of Labels and Release Liners to 2021’, Smithers Pira’s analysis shows label market growth is being driven by economic, social, demographic and lifestyle changes, brand owners’ increasing focus on source reduction and sustainable packaging, consumer demand for convenience food, and the growing presence of large retail chains. Label market demand is also being driven by the relatively low cost with which labelling can be replaced or changed; and a continuing need for barcodes and other secondary packaging applications that support food safety and pharmaceutical compliance issues.

Drinks markets are dominating label consumption; alcoholic drinks are the main end-use market for labels, accounting for a projected 27.5 per cent share of global label consumption in 2016. The alcoholic drinks market growth is supported by the booming hospitality and tourism industries in large cities.

“The outlook for label market growth will be negatively influenced by an expectation of moderate global economic growth over the forecast period,” said Dan Rogers, head of publishing at Smithers Pira.

“The emerging and developing economies are forecast to grow at twice the rate of advanced countries and offer the best opportunities for label market growth.”

Sustainable packaging and labelling is growing in popularity because of the increasing focus by brand owners on carbon footprint and lifecycle impact analysis. Retail chains and brand owners are reacting to growing interest from consumers and are taking initiatives to evaluate the materials used by their suppliers in terms of source reduction, eco-friendliness, and cost reduction.

The growing trend for sustainability in packaging and labelling means linerless labelling systems are gaining in popularity, because they eliminate the need for non-recyclable release liners, and the absence of backing material means that reel changes are quicker and easier. Linerless technology also provides full-colour, high-end graphics, together with the option to print on the back of the label for promotional, coupon and instructional applications. Linerless labels also eliminate waste and reduce cost associated with label production.

‘The Future of Labels and Release Liners to 2021’ is based on a combination of in-depth primary and secondary research, including interviews with label material suppliers and converters, equipment manufacturers, and end users. Secondary research included extensive literature analysis of market and company reports and research from a variety of sources on print, paper and packaging.