In his keynote speech at Labelexpo Europe, UPM Raflatac President Jussi Vanhanen presented some of the major findings from a recent market survey commissioned by the company. According to Vanhanen, growth in self-adhesive label demand will continue in Western Europe and North America at a slower pace than in the previous decade, while demand will increase especially in the emerging markets.
“In the developed markets of Europe and North America, the consumption of self-adhesive labels will follow the growth of packaged products. Self-adhesive labels will take marginally market share from other labeling methods. Therefore, the growth rates for the industry will most likely remain at around 1-2 percent per annum. The highest growth rates will be enjoyed in the food and beverage end-use segments where the penetration of the self-adhesive label is rather low,” said Vanhanen.
Nevertheless, on the global level, self-adhesive labeling will enjoy robust growth of around 4-5 percent per year. According to Vanhanen, some 80 percent of this growth will come from emerging markets. This also reflects the shift in global economic power towards the Asian and Latin American countries.
He emphasized that the labeling industry has to work hard for new business opportunities, particularly in the developed markets. “Growth will not come automatically. The industry needs to continue to develop solutions for ever more specialized applications. The self-adhesive label is the most versatile labeling method, and all participants in the value chain need to continue to promote and develop products which make use of its strengths,” Vanhanen continued.
Another challenge to be addressed by the industry is the sustained raw material inflation. “Over the next decade, consumption growth in the emerging markets will continue to drive raw material prices up even if there may be some short breathers in times of economic uncertainty. The best way to combat this inflation is that substrate suppliers and printers develop and commercialize thinner, fit-for-purpose material constructions and leverage the fast-developing recycling opportunities,” Vanhanen emphasized.