All4Labels expands in Mexico

The global labels and packaging manufacturer has more than doubled its factory size and production capabilities in Mexico

All4Labels has moved to a new larger facility in Mexico City and is in the process of installing a host of new technology as part of an impressive expansion plan to grow its presence in Mexico and the United States.

The global labels and packaging manufacturer has completed phase one of its growth plan in the country – the move to a gleaming new 12,000 sqm factory which took place last year and represented an investment of 12 million EUR. The facility is All4Labels’ regional headquarters, serving Mexico, the United States and Central America.

Phase two, taking place this year, sees the company install
4 million EUR worth of equipment, including digital, flexo and gravure presses as well as a revamp of its pre-press capabilities. New offices are also being installed.

Further expansion is also on the cards, with the company eyeing an adjacent facility as means for further growth.

The ambitious plans match All4Labels’ global strategy: ‘We are a global leader in labels, with a focus on digitalization and sustainability,’ says All4Labels’ chief sales officer Guido Iannone.

“The five new printing lines, focused on pressure-sensitive labels and shrink sleeves, will treble production capacity”

All4Labels in Mexico

All4Labels’ presence in Mexico dates to the group’s founding in 2016 by Brazilian converter Baumgarten and German companies Rako and X-Label. Two years prior, in 2014, Baumgarten had expanded its regional footprint in Latin America with the acquisitions of Mexico-based Etiquetas Rodak and Argentine converter Autopack.

All4Labels, therefore, began life with a strong presence in three key Latin American markets: Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. Further expansion took place last year with the acquisition of Brazilian converter Flexoprint, which also operates a facility in neighboring Paraguay.

The Etiquetas Rodak facility acquired by Baumgarten in 2014 was All4Labels’ Mexico base from its foundation until the move to the new site late last year. The 20 million EUR investment in the new factory and new equipment demonstrates the company’s faith in the continued growth of the Mexican market.

Mexico’s label industry, forecast by Mordor Intelligence to register a CAGR of 5.5 percent between 2021 and 2026, has been the beneficiary of a number of recent trends which are boosting growth in the country.

A key legacy of the pandemic has been a shift in attitude toward supply chains. Disruption during the pandemic, increasing geopolitical tensions, and rising labor costs in China have led to many companies seeking to streamline their supply chains and manufacture closer to their consumer markets: a trend known as nearshoring.

Mexico – with its long border with the US, tax advantages offered by trade agreements, and highly trained workforce – has been a strong beneficiary, though the effects are being felt elsewhere in Latin America, too. The country has seen an influx of foreign companies setting up local manufacturing operations. Foreign direct investment increased by 12 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year, reaching $35.3 billion USD, according to the Mexican Ministry of Economy.

Mexico is also seeing strong growth in e-commerce. Despite predictions that it would fall after the pandemic when lockdowns stimulated a surge in online-buying, e-commerce continued its inexorable rise with growth of 23 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to the Mexican Association of Online Sales. Online sales are now treble what they were in 2019.

Certain end-user sectors are also showing strong potential. Iannone cites the wine and spirits market as a ‘key focus for growth’ for the company. Both are performing well in Mexico: a burgeoning local wine market is providing opportunities for converters, while the export market in tequila is ‘booming’ thanks to rising demand from the US, where it is increasingly being seen as a premium product thanks to celebrity endorsements.


Rapid expansion

It is against this backdrop that All4Labels is rapidly expanding its business in Mexico, a task entrusted to North America region president Sandy Almirall. With phase one – the move to the new 12,000 sqm factory, more than double the size of its previous site – complete, the next stage of the expansion was well underway at the time of L&L’s visit the day before the inaugural Labelexpo Mexico show in late April.

Equipment being installed this year includes a gravure press which has a web width of 1,050mm and can run at speeds of up to 300m/min; three flexo presses – two new and one transferred from All4Labels’ site in Hamburg, Germany; and an HP Indigo 6600 digital press with an off-line AB Graphic Omega converting system.

Further investment is going into pre-press equipment and two ink mixing labs, one each for flexo and gravure inks. New offices are also being constructed within the facility.

The five new printing lines, focused on pressure-sensitive labels and shrink sleeves, will treble production capacity at the site, according to Almirall, while space remains for further press installations in the future.

“The export market for tequila is booming”

The new equipment joins an array of existing printing options, including machines that offer flexo, offset, gravure, silkscreen, hot foil, cold foil, embossing, relam/delam and reverse printing capabilities, as well as advanced converting systems.

Homecare and personal care are All4Labels Mexico’s largest end-user markets, with beverages (mainly spirits) the fastest-growing segment, according to Almirall.

The majority of All4Labels Mexico’s customers are international brands with operations in Mexico, the United States and Central America. ‘Production exported to the United States is rising due to the nearshoring trend,’ says Almirall. ‘The export market for tequila is also booming as it positions itself as a premium product and with the Hispanic population in the US growing. It is soaring in popularity.’

Alongside the new facility and equipment, Almirall is also rapidly expanding his team.

With 150 employees currently, the aim is to reach 200 later this year and some 220 to 250 in 2024. A further phase of expansion may come next year, with the company considering the purchase of a neighboring facility. ‘We are looking at expanding this site in the next 12 months,’ confirms Almirall, ‘possibly into the adjacent building.’


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James Quirk

James Quirk

  • Latin America Correspondent