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Opportunities abound in South America

October 16, 2012

A new AWA study points to high growth rates across all label formats.

AWA Alexander Watson Associates has recently published the third edition of its study of one of the world’s fastest-growing regional label markets: "Labeling Markets: South American Market Study & Sourcebook 2012." The study records current trends in the South American market in terms of the use of different label formats materials and technologies, within the context of the changing demographics and the evolving structure and infrastructure in the region’s business arena.

While Asia continues to drive growth in label volumes, South America (with around 6% of the world’s population) is unique in exhibiting high growth rates across all label formats – wet glue, pressure sensitive, sleeving and in-mold – albeit from a low starting point. Estimated regional volume growth for 2011, at 11.5%-12%, conceals significant variations by country, from a high of 12.5-13% in the leading regional economy, Brazil, to a low of around 7.5%-8% for Chile. Label usage is very much focused on prime label applications – particularly and unsurprisingly in the beverage and food sector.

As the study shows, in terms of preferred label format, it is the glue-applied technologies – cold glue and wraparound hot melt glue-applied – that currently take the largest market share across the region. Pressure sensitive labels enjoy only half the volumes of the glue-applied formats, but the market is continuing to invest in narrow web flexo/UV flexo and in digital label print -- confirming the growth potential for this format. Opportunities in pressure-sensitive labels also exist in particular in the area of added functionalities – especially security labels using anti-counterfeiting devices, and clear-on-clear film labels for beverages.

Sleeving technologies have so far achieved only 3% market penetration, but are growing rapidly.  In-mold labeling is still in its relative infancy but, following strong investment in 2011, is forecast to grow considerably in the medium term.

"Labeling Markets: South American Market Study & Sourcebook 2012" concludes with a regional supplier directory covering press manufacturers, pressure sensitive laminators, paper and film suppliers, and printers. It is an in-depth reference source for all considering investment in this dynamic economic region’s label value chain, and for all companies already active there – labelstock producers, material suppliers, technology providers, and converters. The study is available to order online via AWA Alexander Watson Associates’ website,, where details of all currently available market research studies, and the company’s related events, are also listed.

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