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Are pressure-sensitive labels being challenged today by the up-and-coming product decoration technologies?

Global market shares by technology 2016 percentage for pressure-sensitive labels (Source: AWA)

UK • While pressure-senstive labels 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. This documents the new market analysis “AWA Global Pressure-Sensitive Label Market Study 2017” by AWA Alexander Watson Associates.

Market analysis

As the report says, 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, Corey 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.”

Global market shares by technology 2016 percentage for pressure-sensitive labels (Source: AWA)

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, AWA Alexander Watson Associates president and CEO, “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.”

During Labelexpo Europe 2017 AWA Alexander Watson Associates further hosts its annual AWA Release Liner seminar (26 to 27 September) and its AWA Shrink Sleeve European Seminar in Brussels.

Rosina Obermayer

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