Digital Magazine

PMMI Study Explores Trends & Challenges in Labeling

PMMI, the owner and producer of PACK EXPO International 2012 (October 28-31; McCormick Place, Chicago), recently released its “Trends in Labeling 2012” market research examining trends, advancements, and issues in labeling from the end-user perspective.

Overall, labels seem like a small packaging component but in reality, they make a big impact on the success of a product or brand. Not only do labels reflect personality and messaging behind the brand, they serve to differentiate products at the point of purchase and provide consumers with important ingredient and dietary information. Here is a summary of findings from PMMI’s study that illustrate today and tomorrow’s trends and challenges in labeling.

  • Over the next 3-5 years, key labeling issues confronting product manufacturers will include:

• Reducing label unit costs
• Use of thinner label stock
• Reduction of label material waste
• Greater use of sustainable materials
• Implementing anti-counterfeiting and tamper evident measures
• Improved tracking across the supply chain

  • As product marketers find new ways to use labels to enhance a product’s shelf-appeal, production of labels is increasing year-over-year. Overall, shipments of labels in the US are projected to rise 4.8 percent annually to $20 billion through 2015. Worldwide, shipments are expected to rise 5.2 percent annually to $110 billion by the same year.
  • According to a Freedonia study, pressure-sensitive labels are the most popular type and hold 69 percent of market share in 2012. They are followed by glue applied, stretch sleeve/heat shrink, thermal transfer, and in-mold labels in that order.
  • Use of heat shrink sleeves is expected to increase. Thirty-five percent of manufacturers interviewed currently use them and nearly half of that group plans to increase use of this type.
  • To satisfy increasingly more eco-conscious consumers, end-users are testing new label materials, including soy-based film, tree-free and paper-free stocks made from stone, and post-consumer recycled materials.
  • Thirteen percent of surveyed end-users say they’re actively moving away from the use of petroleum-based materials.
  • Forty-three percent of manufacturers interviewed are aiming to reduce material thickness and minimize label waste.
  • Thirty-seven percent of manufacturers interviewed, primarily in the pharmaceutical and personal care industries, are using peel-back or extended labels. Meanwhile, 24 percent of companies, mainly in the food industry, said they were not interested in extended labels.
  • A survey conducted in 2011 by marketing consultants, WSL/Strategic Retail revealed that 33 percent of respondents downloaded aps to read QR codes or 2D barcodes. As smartphone adoption in the US increases, data suggests that product manufacturers will increasingly require printers that produce higher quality 2D barcodes on labels.

The full study is available to PMMI members at no charge. Non-PMMI members can purchase the study for $3,500. Visit www.pmmi.org for more information.

For more information on the latest labeling technologies to be exhibited at PACK EXPO International 2012, visit www.packexpo.com.<

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