The global linerless labels market size was valued at USD 1.74 billion in 2022. It is expected to reach USD 2.93 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.97% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Labeling plays a crucial role in building a brand's reputation. Brand owners have raised the need for labels to run ongoing marketing campaigns, create seasonal and regional variations, and react more quickly to market changes. A face stock, adhesive, and release liner are frequently present on an adhesive label. However, linerless labels are gaining significant momentum in the packaging and labeling industry due to growing concerns about liner waste.
Labels without liners, also known as liner-free labels or labels without a back, are specifically made to remove the liner and replace it with a release coating applied to the label after printing the contents. According to a study by Ravenwood Packaging, the weight of the label roll will drop by 40%, with significant margins accounted for by lower liner costs and a smaller need for storage space. Rejecting release liners also lessens the possibility of industrial accidents caused by their smooth-coated surfaces, encouraging the use of such labels in the logistics and food and beverage industries.
The demand for packaged foods and beverages has significantly increased, fueling the demand for liner-free labels and promoting market expansion. Several government-issued industry guidelines for packaged foods have also influenced the need for linerless labels. Labeling is essential because FDA requires packaged and processed foods to have nutritional information. Additionally, the Food Safety Modernization Act requires consumer packaged goods to be able to track the path of their products by at least identifying the immediate supplier and recipient (other than retailers to consumers). Using linerless labels on packaged foods is made easier by such regulations. The demand for packaged foods and drinks has also increased globally despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous businesses in the packaged food industry have seen their sales rise due to the pandemic's positive impact on the industry.
Assets like medical equipment or other types used in treatment areas are tracked using labels. They may be seen on signage in clinical and practical settings. Further, equipment of all kinds is now being cleaned and wiped down more frequently with stronger cleaning solutions in the wake of the current pandemic. This is why linerless labels, used on various pharmaceutical supplies, are receiving more attention.
Additionally, labels are widely used in labeling specimen samples and other laboratory and pharmaceutical applications. Leading significant players in the printing market, like Honeywell, is expected to introduce numerous digital label printers specifically for the healthcare industry. The industry's adoption of print labels is also anticipated to increase with the accessibility of these portable and smaller printers.
The inability of manufacturers to produce labels in sizes and shapes other than standard parallelogram structures poses a severe obstacle to the market's expansion. Label loss could result from the difficulty of laying the adhesive layer over the release coating layer in such shapes because labels are typically packaged in rails. These regular shapes might not satisfy the demand for a distinctive trademark from manufacturers constantly looking for unique branding products, which would limit the market's expansion.
The labels sector is experiencing a rapid uptick in new technologies and innovations. Recent innovations intended to produce labels of various shapes and sizes include ETI linerless applicators and multi-layer labels produced by Coveris Holdings SA (US). The ETI adaptor, which transforms the linerless tape into various shapes or sizes, is carried out in a printing press. Regarding products, machinery, equipment, and printing technologies, the linerless labels market has been exposed to innovations and developments. The utilization of biodegradable materials is currently emerging as one of the most prominent trends in the market.
The global linerless labels market is segmented by printing technology and the end-user industry.
The global linerless labels market is bifurcated into gravure, flexography, and digital.
The digital segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.98% during the forecast period. One method for directly printing designs on the substrate is digital printing. Professional printing typically refers to using large-format and high-volume laser or inkjet printers to print small-run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources. The market for linerless labels has become more sophisticated and is being used more widely, thanks to the rapid development of digital print technology. In addition, digital print technology is advancing with digital technologies like UV and water-based inkjet. Converters now could cater to the growing demand for linerless labels thanks to the ability to digitally print and convert ultra-thin film media.
Flexography is a printing type that uses image plates that have raised areas. Flexo label printing uses rubber or polymer plastic plates instead of the rigid metal tubes used in gravure, making it more flexible and less expensive than rotogravure printing, which uses etched metal cylinders.
The process's pre-press, press, and ink components have undergone significant innovations, which are anticipated to spur the growth of the market under study. In addition, corrugated boxes, retail, flexible plastics, food, and hygiene bags are significant industries where linerless label flexographic printing is used.
Furthermore, one of the significant advancements in the pre-press stage is the use of sleeves to make mounting the printing plates onto the flexo press easier, further reducing make-ready times. As a result, printers now need to prepare and store numerous non-interchangeable cylinders for various jobs. The packaging sector of the flexo market has seen noticeable interest and growth, and many customers have asked for assistance with shrink films, thin films, in-mold labeling, and flexible packaging applications.
The global linerless labels market is bifurcated into food, beverage, healthcare, cosmetics, household, industrial, and logistics.
The logistics segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.85% during the forecast period. Logistics labeling is essential for consignors and consignees, freight forwarders and carriers, and official organizations like customs and port authorities. Due to the logistic unit's ability to be tracked and traced throughout the supply chain, it plays a crucial part in the supply chain. Each logistic unit must have a unique serial number, known as the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC), to identify it. Furthermore, print label manufacturers in various regions constantly update their technology to meet the rising market demand. In Arnhem, Netherlands, MPS Systems expanded its floor space in March 2021 with a 1.600 m2 building directly across from its current headquarters. The extra room is needed to increase production capacity, improve warehouse logistics, and reserve space for potential expansion.
E-commerce businesses face several difficulties, and streamlining processes is a top priority. These difficulties include labor shortages, rising customer expectations, complicated automation issues, and high operating costs. This is crucial in distribution and fulfillment centers, where many executives look for ways to enhance processes like order picking, packing, releasing orders, and inventory management. In the beverage industry, using linerless labels is an easy way to streamline the packing procedure and save money. The growing off-trade sales of alcoholic beverages, the expansion of the tourism and hospitality sectors, and rising disposable incomes among the growing middle class in developing countries all support the market for alcoholic beverages with linerless labels.
By Region, the global linerless labels market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant contributor to the global linerless labels market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.80% during the forecast period. The expansion of linerless labels in the Asia-Pacific region is primarily due to the development of their uses in retail and other end-user industries in countries like China, India, and Japan. Due to the region's rapid industrialization and urbanization, packaged and processed food consumption is rising, helping the market grow favorably. For instance, 64.8% of the world's population, as measured by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, resided in cities in 2021. In addition, China currently has one of the world's largest food and beverage industries due to the rising demand for food. In addition, due to the government's reduced tariff barriers on frozen food imports and the rapid development of food outlets, the demand for frozen food in China is poised to increase even further.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.85% during the forecast period. Some of the most well-known businesses in the world, including those in the automotive, pharmaceutical, and packaging industries, are headquartered in Europe. Regarding the adoption of cutting-edge technology, the area is acknowledged as one of the pioneers. The demand for goods that meet the sustainability criterion has grown significantly in recent years, which has caused a change in trend. This is because of the strategic approach taken by the European Commission to achieving sustainable development in Europe. In addition, the market is anticipated to expand in the European region because linerless labels reduce waste production by doing away with the liners. Modern packaging label goods produced in the UK are mostly to blame for the rising demand for linerless labels.
Furthermore, the food and healthcare industries are two of the primary sources of demand in the nation. The nation is also the world's biggest market for online shopping. Social media marketing has become a crucial channel in which businesses are most likely to increase their investment in e-commerce in the coming years due to the growing popularity of mobile internet and social networking.
The linerless label market in North America has expanded significantly, with the United States holding a sizable portion of the market. Since linerless labels are inexpensive and are regarded as environmentally friendly, the demand for such solutions in the North American region is rising as more manufacturers show an interest in sustainable solutions. Labels are crucial to the packaging industry because they inform consumers about the specifics of the product they are consuming. In addition, Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Material found that 74% of US consumers prefer to purchase goods with packaging that will shield the contents from contamination. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that each year in the United States, 128,000 people are hospitalized for foodborne illnesses, and 3,000 people pass away. Therefore, to prevent such incidents, the regulatory agencies in the United States are calling for stricter regulations. Such patterns are fueling the nation's label market's expansion. Many small and large retail establishments in the nation are another factor contributing to its enormous demand. Retail behemoths like Walmart and others are driving the surge in activity in the US, which is mainly responsible for the country's expansion of the linerless label market.
Latin America offers significant opportunities for the market under study because it produces a lot of raw materials and food products. The rise in responsible and conscientious consumption creates opportunities for responses and solutions across the food chain. These opportunities are being made through industrialization and new, more sustainable technologies. According to a Fitch Solutions 2020 report on the global generic drug market, Latin America is also one of the regions with the fastest-growing generic drug sales. Despite its infancy, a regional Latin American pharmaceutical market is beginning to take shape, with Mexico at its center.
Saudi Arabia is one of the leading markets in the Middle East and Africa for cosmetic goods because of women's increased purchasing power and ability in the region. More than 10.6 million Saudi men and roughly 10.2 million Saudi women make up the largest population in the kingdom, according to the General Authority for Statistics (Saudi Arabia). The country leads the Middle East and Africa regions in both the consumption of skin and hair care products and has one of the highest rates of cosmetics consumption. Messe Frankfurt Middle East GmbH predicted Saudi Arabia's cosmetics market to reach USD 5.8 billion in 2022. Additionally, Saudi Arabian consumers tend to spend money on their appearance, which is anticipated to support the expansion of the cosmetics sector and raise the demand for linerless labels in the region.
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