The global print label market size was valued at USD 45.1 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 65.88 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.30% during the forecast period (2022–2030). The term "print label" describes a sheet of material made of metal, cloth, polymer, and paper that is printed and used to display a product's logo, symbols, and published information. It establishes brand identity, identifies products, and stops counterfeiting to preserve credibility. Print labels are directly printed instead of woven labels, and they have several advantages, including precise printing, high quality, and detailed images. Wet-glue, pressure-sensitive, and multi-part tracking labels are just a few of the labeling formats for commercially available print labels.
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Evolution in Digital Print Technology
Due to its affordability and ability to produce professional-quality printing on industrial-sized digital presses, digital print technology is evolving and becoming increasingly popular in the print label industry. Digital print technology is advancing with the development of new digital technologies like UV inkjet and water-based inkjet. The market is anticipated to grow profitably during the forecast period as printers continue to discover new ways to use technology to enhance productive print labels. The demand for digital printing technology has been increasing across all end-user industry sectors, including food, drink, consumer goods, and pharmaceuticals. The steady increase in order volume has stimulated the market, lower supplier inventories, shorter lead times to deliver ordered quantities, and lower prices.
Increasing Demand in the Developing Economies to Manufacture
The demand for sustainable and recyclable labeling and packaging materials is rising due to growth in industrial end-user industries such as food and beverage, automotive, skincare and cosmetics, and consumer durables, among others. This demand growth is what propels the print label market globally. Previously, members of the Ministry of Economy oversaw the IMMEX program inspections for approval and would visit production facilities on-site to verify compliance before a project got underway. Soon, more demand for print label processing will be met by such initiatives during the forecast period.
Lack of Climate-Resistant Products
Problems with label application are frequently brought on by environmental factors, specifically humidity and temperature. The labels should be applied in a dry, warm environment. However, it is impossible altogether to avoid extreme temperatures or humidity in some situations to avoid extreme temperatures or moisture altogether. The print label must withstand the various temperature conditions it encounters after adhering to the surface. Some brands are specifically made to withstand different temperatures, including labels on products that must be kept in the cold chain and hazardous chemicals. However, environmental regulation-related labeling will also impede the expansion of the print label market.
Growing Use of RFID Labels
A person can currently track products automatically through the supply chain by using radio-frequency identification (RFID) labels currently used by retail chains. These labels use electromagnetic fields to track the outcomes. Brand protection and track and trace are just two of the many applications. The distribution of goods, retail management, and environmental support can all be aided by the extensive data that RFID labels carry. The use of RFID labels is anticipated to increase as RFID technology continues to develop. It is expected that the annual increase in radiation-curing printing inks and a future rise in water-based printing inks will lessen environmental harm due to the growing ecological awareness. Every label will emphasize digital printing because of its higher quality, a wider range of substrates, shorter lead times, and ability to meet customer demand.
The global print label market is segmented by print process, label format, and end-user industry.
Based on the print process, the global print label market is bifurcated into offset lithography, gravure, flexography, screen, letterpress, electrophotography, and inkjet.
The flexography segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.03% during the forecast period. Flexography with printhead developers and inkjet presses is growing. This new generation of hybrid presses integrates Flexo's solid color efficiency with inkjet's variable data potential. Many businesses add digital print units to flexographic presses. Digital printing has replaced flexography as the primary print engine on hybrid presses, while in-line converting, finishing, and coating remain. Automation and Industry 4.0 standards will drive flexographic press development. MPS encourages connectivity and calls its flexo presses "Beyond the Machine." MPS presses include automated features to increase efficiency. EFS automated multi-substrate flexo press prints flexible packaging and labels on different substrates.
Digital technologies are more important when setting up lithographic printing equipment. Furthermore, even though this label printing method is economical and supports economies of scale, printing house owners are hesitant to set aside money for such resources due to the process's high fixed cost. Despite this, offset printing businesses that pay attention to the sector—particularly the food and drug industries—are spending money on cutting-edge offset printing technology and automated post-press machinery. Packaging is produced using this printing technique frequently, and in the upcoming years, this industry is anticipated to grow significantly. Even though digital printing technology is being adopted increasingly rapidly, offset lithography will continue to hold significant sway.
Based on label format, the global market is bifurcated into wet-glue labels, pressure-sensitive labels, linerless labels, multi-part tracking labels, in-mold labels, and sleeves.
The pressure-sensitive labels segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.96% during the forecast period. Pressure-sensitive labels have five layers: a liner, release coat, adhesive, face stock, and topcoat. Paper, film, and foil can be used as PSL label materials and produce sharp, vibrant colors with various inks. PSLs are popular label applicators because they do not require heat, a solvent, or water to activate and can be applied with light to moderate pressure. Resource Label Group and its subsidiaries say PSLs make up more than 80% of all labels. Food and beverage are the primary end uses for pressure-sensitive labels globally. E-commerce and internet supply chains have increased the need for variable printing. Transport and logistics are expected to use a lot of pressure-sensitive labels.
Wet-glue labels work well in mass production. Traditional wet-glue tags are used in high-volume markets like mineral water, beer, wine, and spirits. Players may adopt wet-glue names to provide more product information on labels. Wet-glue tags embody brand identity, essential for first impressions because they condense product information. Wet glue labeling machines have improved labeling precision and reduced work processes and costs, driving the market. Due to increased R&D, industry players have developed durable and disintegration-resistant papers. This is anticipated to boost the market during the forecast period.
Based on end-user, the global print label market is bifurcated into food, beverage, healthcare, cosmetics, household, industrial (automotive, industrial chemicals, consumer and non-consumer durables), and logistics.
The beverage segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.01% during the forecast period. During the forecast period, it is anticipated that the food industry will hold the second-largest share of the print label market after the beverage industry. Due to personalization, print labeling is becoming more and more popular in the beverage industry. Manufacturers constantly look for fresh ways to market their goods and develop distinct brand identities. This demand drives the development and expansion of new labeling technologies, such as printing names on Coca-Cola soft drink containers and football teams on Bud Light beer cans. Alcoholic beverages must adhere to specific labeling norms governed by strict norms and regulations established by the respective regulatory authority of the countries.
The food industry's market for print labels is anticipated to be significantly dominated during the forecast period. Consumers are nowadays more knowledgeable about the ingredients in the food they eat. Manufacturers are choosing more prominent labels due to the increased emphasis placed on the products' materials listed on the label. To add a distinctive identifier and online connectivity to every item, print label companies are now producing RFID labels for the food industries as a result of the development of technology.
By region, the global print label market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global print label market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.91% during the forecast period. China has the largest Asia-Pacific economy due to growing business interests. As China's per capita income, living standards, and population rise, nearly all end-user industries have increased. Alibaba's growth is expected to drive the market for print labels over the forecast period. Alibaba's Double 11 shopping festival brought Chinese consumers 1.9 billion packages. The rising demand for high-quality water and the health-conscious drinking culture have increased bottled water consumption, and labeling is crucial in communicating each bottle's contents. DCC China predicts the world will consume 49 million tons of bottled water by 2020. Such factors are anticipated to sustain the market growth during the forecast period.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.83%, generating USD 14.72 billion during the forecast period. One of Europe's most important markets for print label solutions is the United Kingdom. The logistics, food and beverage, and healthcare industries are the primary sources of demand in the nation. Health is at the forefront of the transparency movement in the U.K., where customers are increasingly health-conscious and more likely to read food labels. Additionally, laws like "Natasha's Law," which was adopted by the legislature in September 2019, mandate that all food businesses list all ingredients on pre-packaged food. This law was anticipated to go into effect by 2021 and might apply to England and Northern Ireland, further spurring the use of printed in-mold labels on various products. Variable data printing and short-run label production are in high demand in the United Kingdom. For extended content and read-and-peel applications, multi-layer tags and LED curing are also in high need on the market.
In North America, the rapid development of digital print technology is driving the growth of the print label market in the U.S. Digital technology has helped end-user industries create appealing label designs that persuade customers to buy. All small- and large-scale sectors and the market are expected to change due to the integration of digital technology with label printing techniques. The U.S. print labels market is consolidating due to shorter lead times, lower profit margins, and converters' difficulty hiring qualified press operators. European players are also interested in the U.S. labels market's growth potential. Businesses like Xeikon have grown significantly since refocusing on the U.S. market. Flexography is expected to lead the print label market. Due to automation, customers want their orders quickly. Demand requires faster turnaround times. Flexographic printers with continuous print solutions, more software integrations, and durability are needed for shorter lead times.
In Latin America, one of South America's biggest markets for labels is Brazil. Brazil is anticipated to hold a sizable portion of the beverage, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. Brazil has one of the world's fastest-growing cosmetics and personal care markets. An entire pavilion at the renowned cosmetics event FCE Cosmetique is devoted to small and medium-sized businesses interested in the Brazilian market, including Herbacin, Jean D'Arcel Cosmetique, and Netzsch. ABIHPEC also claims that Brazil's global markets for cosmetics, fragrances, and personal care products are expanding. For instance, sales of lipsticks increased 12% in volume in 2020 despite social distance measures and face masks. Over the same period, cosmetics sales for wrinkles and aging also rose 13.4%. As the personal care and cosmetics sector expands rapidly, there will likely be many opportunities for using printed labels in this market.
Although the number of digital machines in the Middle East and Africa is increasing, the cost and production price of digital printing are still a barrier because of high maintenance costs. As a result, digital printing is not yet economically viable in the region. If the heightened competition can inspire the creation of creative answers to upkeep and consumable needs, the print labels market is set to expand. Several new market participants are emerging to provide cutting-edge goods and services for the area. Such product advancements are anticipated to accelerate market expansion in the area further. The time it takes to process plates after using solvents is one of the bottlenecks in plate production. The pace of work and output quality is anticipated to increase with the purchase of automated in-house plate-making solutions.