Threats & opportunities for the global label market

AWA Alexander Watson Associates logoIn a series of wide-ranging presentations at the 2011 AWA DecTec Narrow Web Label & Product Decoration Printing and Imaging conference held earlier this week in Chicago, industry experts from up and down the supply chain addressed numerous threats and opportunities for the global label market today and down the road. Here are some notes from the talks given by AWA president/CEO Corey Reardon and Dr. William Llewellyn, AWA vp-senior consultant.

Market forecasts

  • The 2010 global label market grew by 5.5-6.0 percent to 43.4 billion sq meters (US$28-30 billion in sales of finished, printed materials).
  • Global growth for pressure-sensitive label formats was 8.5 percent last year.
  • Overall, growth for the world label market will slow to 4.0 percent annually over the 2010-2015 period.


  • There’s rising competition among different label formats in all sales markets.
  • New flexible-packaging apps are replacing the need for labeled rigid containers.
  • Film-based label use is growing at multiples of the rate for paper-based labels.
  • Retailers often now control market dynamics, and CPGs want cost transparency such that label converters are less and less in command of what will happen.
  • Increasing costs of polymer, adhesives, inks and chemicals are slashing margins.
  • Sustainability issues are being driven by the perception of high waste levels in the supply chain, the classification of release liner as packaging waste and European eco concerns over incompatible materials used to label PET containers.


  • Want to sell labels? Go East (and South), Young Converter. Growth in emerging markets such as China (9 percent a year to 2015), India (11.5 percent annually) and South America (5 percent/yr) will outstrip levels in North America and Europe.
  • Eighty percent of pressure-sensitive label growth will come from various emerging markets.
  • Label-sales and volume growth in the Rest of the World are being driven by new converting capabilities and demand in the Middle East and Southern Africa.
  • Strong end markets for p-s labels include cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, foods/beverages, and beer/wine/spirits.
  • Top end markets for shrink-sleeve labeling are HBAs, cosmetics, food/bevs and household-care products.
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1 Response to Threats & opportunities for the global label market

  1. Pingback: Threats & opportunities for the global label market | Converting Guide

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