Label Market Forecasts: Market Analysts Point to Sophistication, Strategic Partnerships & Superior Value

No matter the analyst you ask, or how you phrase it, business is on the rise for label printers worldwide. All place compound annual growth rates (CAGR) at better than 4 percent and foresee market volume approaching $50 billion by the close of 2024.

Some are charting growth patterns from 2014—others 2018—and one places 2019 at the starting point. While forecasts are positive, prognosticators have indicated that challenges are mounting.

Research teams from Mordor Intelligence, Research And Markets and Smithers Pira issued comment on trends, trajectories, all-important sales volumes and significant factors affecting bottom line prospects in the foreseeable future. Here is an outline of how each firm charts developments.

Label work that garnered accolades in recent FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards competitions

Mordor Intelligence recently reported, “The print label market was valued at $37.6 billion in 2018, and it is expected to reach $47.9 billion in 2024 at a CAGR of 4.1 percent over the forecast period (2019-2024).” Observations voiced contended that, “The rapid rise of digital print technology has made the label market more sophisticated. Versatility and flexibility, combined with the high graphics standards are key growth features.” Also noted: “Manufacturers are continually looking for new ways to present their products and create new identities for their brand. Demand forces new labeling technologies to develop and expand continuously.”

Research And Markets forecasters matched the volume predictions of Mordor Intelligence, both for dollar sales and annual CAGR. Its analysts explained, “An upsurge in disposable income of people worldwide will impel prospects for market growth.” They added, “The print label market is highly competitive. Many companies are increasing their market presence by introducing new products or by entering into strategic partnerships or acquisitions.”

Label Forecast Figures

Smithers Pira specified a rise in market value from $41 billion in 2019 to $49.9 billion in 2024; CAGR throughout the period was calculated at 4 percent in each annual cycle. Prime news included, “Flexography controls the largest share of the market—32.4 percent—but its growth lines of 3.1 percent annually are being outpaced by digital, where inkjet is expected to be dominant.”

Researchers contended, “The trend toward greater automation in label printing is motivating printers to invest in sophisticated management information systems that are integrated with specialized inspection and color performance software and technology, and even fully automated press and finishing line setup systems.” They continued: “The ultimate objective is to establish a capability for running completely automated and streamlined workflows 24 hours per day that receive job orders by electronic data interchange. New automated systems can utilize the potential of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) to liaise with shipping carriers, set up invoices and receive payment advice, and use Wi-Fi for remote access and control of production processes.”

Smithers Pira also decreed, “With greater automation comes shorter printruns, which many end-use applications for printed labels are moving toward. End-users are creating higher demand for customization.” Elaborating on the point, its team said, “Due to economic challenges, many brands are prioritizing cost reduction, while consumers are demanding superior value and customer service from suppliers. This mix of market conditions has led to the rise of hybrid flexo/inkjet, with or without inline finishing, which is a major industry trend.”