U.S. Shipment of Labels to Reach $15.2 Billion in 2008
United States label shipments are forecast to increase 5.7 percent per year to reach 15.2 billion in 2008, according to a new study on labels from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm.
The study reported that technologies ranging from radio-frequency smart labeling and two-dimensional bar-coding to plateless digital printing will open a range of new labeling applications. Advances in label substrates, adhesives and coatings will also play important roles. However, the study reported that maturity in key label markets and competition from direct labeless printing in applications such as mailing, primary packaging and corrugated box labeling will limit further gains.
The study also reported that products that compete effectively with traditional labels, i.e., glue-applied, and direct printing will post the most rapid gains. By contrast, glue-applied labels, which have already been largely replaced in secondary labeling applications, will continue to lose ground to pressure-sensative labels in strongholds such as wine, spirits and specialty beverages. The report said that prospects are relatively poor for more mature application technologies, such as heat-seal and gummed labels.
On an up note, the study reported that the best gains are expected in secondary labeling functions, where labels play an increasingly important role in electronic data processing and inventory control systems, such as in health-care establishments. The study projected that gains will also be propelled by the penetration of bar-coding labels in the transportation and distribution sector, as well as by the growth of electronic article surveillance and radio frequency identification.
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