Hardship. Crisis. Recession. Sound familiar? The current combination of escalating food and gasoline prices is surely reminiscent of the 1970s when high energy prices drove up grocery costs. Americans are desperate for a solution now, but economists predict continued economic doom and gloom. According to ABC News, those struggling to purchase gasoline at $4 per gallon will have to prepare for a $3 increase within two years. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Agriculture speculated that food prices will continue to spike for at least the next few years.
Similar to other industries, label and tag suppliers are combating the increases in raw material pricing and rising variable costs. Jennifer Dochstader, communications director and editor for the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI), located in Naperville, Ill., observed that manufacturers of consumable products to the narrow web printing industry, such as pressure-sensitive films, plates and inks, are frequently notifying customers of price increases.
“While most packaging buyers certainly anticipate cost increases from label vendors due to market volatility, a lot of narrow web business is contracted business, and it’s imperative companies navigate their way through the current economic landscape while keeping margins intact,” she cautioned. “This is going to present a tremendous challenge to many companies in our marketplace.”
Yes, times are tough. However, many tag and label suppliers are unwilling to become another casualty of an unstable economy. And this market, in particular, presents driven professionals with a unique opportunity.
“As consumer products companies scale back product marketing media campaigns to cut costs, they’re focusing on more affordable ways to try and increase brand presence and product appeal—the labels on their products,” Dochstader explained. “The bar on complex, printed graphics shelf appeal has never been set higher, and label converters are meeting—and exceeding—these demands while managing to make their own production floors leaner and more efficient.”
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