Developing economies fuelling the growth of a $44.8bn labelling market

  • By Chris Thorpe
  • September 09, 2016
  • General

You don’t always need a crystal ball to predict the future. Global packaging experts Smithers Pira have released a new report into the labelling market – and they anticipate significant growth between now and 2021. So how should your business prepare?

Labelling market growth is going to be driven by developing economies and increasing desire for sustainable packaging. That’s according to a new report released by global packaging experts Smithers Pira. With 5.4% growth per annum anticipated between 2016 and 2021, The Future of Labels and Release Liners has declared that the labelling market will balloon to a projected $44.8 billion. Emerging economies, enhanced consumerism and a trend towards eco-friendly packaging are cited as some of the reasons for the strong industry growth. If the forecast is correct, global consumption for labels and release liners will reach 64.1 billion tonnes by 2021.

Consumers vote with their wallets

The Smithers Pira report notes that consumers are increasingly eco-aware. The environmental credentials of a product – and that includes its packaging – is helping to inform their purchasing decisions. And in a world where it seems nobody has any spare time, that packaging has to be simple too. In a nutshell? Consumers are busy and increasingly eco-minded. They want simple packaging that’s ethical too.

Manufacturers respond to the eco-friendly trend

Sustainability is the watchword. It has rapidly evolved from a begrudged CSR obligation to become business-critical. Eco-friendliness and waste reduction is spearheading the drive towards labelling and packaging that more readily communicates environmental credentials. With a global move towards linerless labels – pressure-sensitive labels without backing paper – the industry as a whole is demonstrating a willingness to adapt to the cultural and political drive towards environmentalism, regardless of the country of production.

Mass consumerism and tightening regulations

It’s not just the growth in sustainable packaging and labelling that’s fuelling industry growth. The Smithers Pira report also predicts that assimilation of western culture and higher disposable income in emergent Asian economies will be another key trend over the next five years. Also cited was the growth in secondary food packaging as well as tightening regulations forcing change in the pharmaceutical sector.

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What does it mean for manufacturing, packaging and coding businesses?

Packaging, printing and coding methods need to reflect the wider public’s increasing desire for products that are simple and sustainable. To remain relevant and financially buoyant, labelling and coding companies will need to align their strategies with the transition from traditional labelling to more sustainable and ecological processes. That may mean investing in new coding and printing methods that offer clients and brands the opportunity to demonstrate environmental credentials. Such as vegetable oil based inks allowing for increased recyclability of foodstuffs packaging.

The growth in use of recyclable, natural materials also means emergent economies will be better able to compete with businesses in countries where the packaging and labelling market is more mature. Developing economies such as India, China and Mexico will be better positioned to bear the majority of produce at a cheaper rate yet still adhere to the green expectation of modern sustainable production.

To wrap up…

As manufacturers bow to consumer demand for sustainability, the demand for economic and eco-conscious methods of packaging production will be a key concern for manufacturing, packaging and labelling businesses over the next five years. As the market readies itself for anticipated year-on-year growth of 5.4%, any business worth its ink will be looking to ally itself with a sustainable and economic ethos.

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