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Study: World label demand to rise 5.5 percent per year

July 10, 2007

The global label market is forecast to advance at an annual pace of 5.5 percent to 42 billion square meters (452 billion square feet) in 2011.

The global label market is forecast to advance at an annual pace of 5.5 percent to 42 billion square meters (452 billion square feet) in 2011. In value terms, demand will grow 8.3 percent annually, reaching US$100 billion. Gains will be fueled by expansion of the world’s packaged consumer goods markets, particularly specialty beverages, personal care products and medicinals. Also important will be the diffusion of advanced logistics and data processing systems throughout the developing world, and the development and penetration of technologically sophisticated, value added labels that serve a range of functions in addition to product identification. These and other trends are presented in World Labels, a new study from The Freedonia Group, an industry research firm based in Cleveland, OH, USA.

According to the study, the best gains are expected in the world’s emerging economies, which already account for over 40 percent of global label demand by area. Label markets in developing countries will enjoy robust growth, fueled by generally healthy economies, rising populations and expanding consumer sectors increasingly able to satisfy their desire for foods, beverages, personal care items, and other highly packaged consumer products. China, which recently surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest label market after the US, will continue to log double-digit demand growth. India and East European markets such as Poland and Russia also offer especially favorable prospects.

Traditional packaging uses are more mature in the developed economies of North America, Western Europe and (especially) Japan, where labels also face stiff competition from direct printing. Still, labels will find opportunities in new applications in inventory control, product security and other areas.

Pressure sensitive labels, which surpassed wet glues as the leading label type in the late 1990s, will account for 55 percent of the global market by 2011. Gains have slowed in recent years as growth markets such as wine and electronic security have matured and plastic sleeve, in-mold and wraparound labels have cut into pressure sensitive strongholds such as beverage packaging. In terms of materials, plastic labels will continue to penetrate traditional paper applications, capturing nearly 30 percent of the world market by 2011.

World Labels (381 pages) is available for $5,500. E-mail Corinne Gangloff at Information also may also be obtained through
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