Label Summit Latin America 2018 exceeds expectations

Participants at Latin America Summit 2018 (Source: Tarsus)

MEXICO • The two-day event, held from 24 to 25 April at Expo Guadalajara welcomed 964 of the label and package printing industry’s representatives from 12 Latin American countries. Discussed topics were smart labels, premiumization as well as the Mexican market and its growth potential.

According to the organiser, the 15th edition of Label Summit Latin America was one of the best attended events of its kind to date.   A combination of conference sessions with panel discussions, technical and practical presentations, and a table-top exposition was running for the duration of the event.

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Key statistics about the Mexican label and package printing market:

  • The population of Mexico is set to increase by 4.7% from 2017-2022, reaching 129.35 million people
  • Per capita GDP is forecast to grow by 24% in the same period
  • In 2018, the label market in Mexico is worth 452 million dollars. This is forecast to grow by 2022 to 536.1 million dollars – an increase of 18.6%*
  • Within the above figure, most growth is forecast in shrink sleeves (34.5 percent); in-mould labels (21.3%) and self-adhesive labels (20%)*

Hot conference topics were the growing trends of premiumization (focus on high quality labels and packaging), augmented reality and intelligent labels, which provide increased opportunities for brands to engage with consumers and offer added value, plus the emphasis on consumer experience. The huge growth potential of the Mexican market – the region’s biggest – was also discussed in detail.

Opening the summit on day one was a keynote presentation given by Avery Dennison’s lead for sales and marketing in Latin America, Isabela Monteiro. Addressing trends in Mexico, the region and worldwide, market forecasts, and how consumers are willing to pay more for functional packaging, she said: “We are living in a more dynamic world with smaller families and single-family homes, so the consumption trend is more individualized, more practical, more functional.”

Other day one highlights included a panel discussion with Heriberto Sánchez from Acoban and Etifilms, Keren Becerra from Etiquetas Lobo Impresores and Label Pack, and Samuel Rodriguez de Landa from La Escuela Nacional de Artes leading the debate. Emotional well-being and talent development were acknowledged as key to industry success, as was meeting the needs of younger entrants to the market who want a more flexible working life. This is a challenge for converters, where production jobs see a turnover of 3%.

A session was led by Ideeo on diversification and moving from commercial printing to packaging. CEO of the Mexico City-based company Juan Sebastián Estrada described how it had stopped being a printer a long time ago when they realized they had to sell concepts instead. He said: “The package is a means of communication. I’m not selling a label or a package. I’m selling an experience.”

Day one ended with a panel discussion led by Ricardo Stone of Etiquetas e Impresiones de Mexico, Ángel Calderón of Impredimex, Gerardo Gonzalez of Etiprint and Jorge Martínez of Groupo Etimex. They agreed that since much of the Mexican market is price-focused, it is important to find a niche and excel at it. Digital printing was also flagged as a hot topic, as converters are increasingly adopting digital strategies.

Day two of the conference began with Jos Kabouw of Grafisk Maskinfabrik and Joaquim Correia of Arconvert leading a session on high-end label decoration. Kabouw discussed augmented reality, foils and embossing as ways for brands to stand out on a shelf, while Correia looked at premium material options. Echoing the session on day one, he said: “Today’s consumer doesn’t want status from products they purchase, they want an experience.”

The summit ended with a panel discussion on branding, and in particular enhancement, personalization and private label versus premium brands. According to the organiser, consumer brands were well represented on the panel, with Mónica Medina of Nestlé, Sergio Bojalil of The Hershey Company, Humberto Ojeda Lozano of Tequila Casa San Matías, alongside Manuel Antonio Melendrez of Norjal. The recurrent theme of consumer experience was discussed, while Lozano explained how his company works closely with its label printer to choose the best papers and bright finishes for their tequila bottles. He said there are greater opportunities for brand marketers and designers to interact with their label suppliers, who in turn have a responsibility to educate their customers on the latest trends.

The accompanying table-top exposition featured 87 companies, with many suppliers represented, including Acpo, Armor, Avery Dennison, Bobst, Durst, Dupont, Epson – who also launched their SurePress for the Latin American market – Esko, Fujifilm, Green Bay Mexico, Mark Andy, Sun Chemical and Tesa Tape.

Label Summit Latin America is part of the Labelexpo Global Series by Tarsus. The show was last hosted in Guadalajara in 2012; Label Summit Latin America 2019 will take place in Medellín, Colombia – find more information in due course at www.labelexpo.com

*Source: Smithers Pira

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