Label Industry Insights to Feed Continuous Business Growth
Market research done for Packaging Impressions’ State of the Industry Report: Labels found that despite lingering effects of an unprecedented pandemic, the North American label segment of package printing, which comprises a wide range of packaging materials printed on narrow-web presses including pressure-sensitive labels, in-mold labels, digitally printed labels and shrink sleeve labels, is largely continuing the soaring success enjoyed by the label industry in 2020.
Label industry challenges
Despite the growing demand for label printing, the label industry is facing challenges. Some of these challenges existed in the label industry before the pandemic, including:
- Increasing brand, retailer, and consumer demand for sustainable label printing
The consumer marketplace continues to be aware and concerned of its impact on the environment. Retailers, both brick-and-mortar and online, are acutely aware of consumers’ concerns and are applying upward pressure on companies to create more eco efficient packaging and label options.
- Short runs with fast lead times across the packaging industry
Brands and retailers were already looking at labels and packaging to help diversify their product portfolios. This increasing demand for smaller orders with quicker delivery had created a seismic shift in the labeling market where the label converters had to leverage more sophisticated print technologies, including digital printing for labels, to be successful.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated other trends and adding new challenges, including
- Changing shopping environments driving demand for complex decoration
From pressure-sensitive labels to in-mold labels and beyond, labels printers in North America are increasingly being tapped by brands to level up their shelf-impact games. These brands are printing labels using high-quality effects to help labeled, packaged goods compete with products in a range of packaging formats, including flexible packaging, in highly competitive markets such as packaged foods.
- Labor shortage across manufacturing, including the label printing segment
The State of the Industry Report: Labels also uncovered that package printers and converters continue to have real concerns about staffing uncertainties due to unforeseen circumstances, employee illnesses or family illnesses. As manufacturing businesses, package printers and converters have staff in both carpet and cement environments with some roles that simply cannot be converted to remote. The report offers practical advice on how to structure your staffing to accommodate staffing uncertainties while retaining as much productivity as possible.
- Agile label printers primed for success
Productivity, high quality, and efficiency will always be important for manufacturing businesses, including those printing labels. Agility, though, just might be the characteristic that distinguishes the label converters and printers that enjoy the greatest success in North America.
Supply chain concerns have made inventory management one of the most difficult challenges face by North American label printers today. These same manufacturers are enjoying increasing demands for printed labels. The State of the Industry Report: Labels includes interviews with some of the highest achieving label printers in the U.S. on how they are planning and succeeding in today’s challenging but highly rewarding printed label market. Download your free copy of The State of the Industry Report: Labels to access insights to help you succeed in the label industry.