Self-adhesive labels account for only 7 percent of the European bottled drinks market, but this still represents a huge and growing market in volume terms, with rising consumption offering further product decoration opportunities. This is the message that FINAT, the European trade association for self adhesive label manufacturers, endorses in its latest publication, End-user Market Survey and Industry Report*. It sees the world’s beverage container market as a lucrative area for expansion, as drink container manufacturers come to realize the many advantages that self-adhesive paper and film labels offer compared with other forms of product decoration.
The seven main segments (soft drinks, beers, bottled water, fruit juices, wines, spirits, and others) together produce a massive 500 billion liters of drink with demand growing at 2.7 percent a year. The beer sector, especially premium brands, is said to offer the highest potential for high quality self-adhesive labeling, closely followed by labels for flavored spirit drinks, quality ciders, sparkling wines, and high value spirits where labels may include antitheft and anticounterfeiting features.
The report outlines several benefits that self-adhesive labels offer compared with wet glue labels. They include economic production for small runs and less costly maintenance regimes on integrated label/bottling lines. Combined with advances in printing techniques, such factors offer sound reasons for Europe’s major drink container manufacturers to adopt self-adhesive technology, especially with the growth in multinational labeling and bottling applications. Recycling is another factor. Some label firms have produced labels for returnable glass bottles that can withstand 15 or more trips through the sterilization process, while the use of plastic substrates for labels on plastic bottles sidesteps recycling problems.
* End-user Market Survey & Industry Report by Alexander Watson Associates, published by FINAT, PO Box 85612, 2508 CH, The Hague, Netherlands (www.finat.com).