Economy, population and consumer optimism to fuel US label demand through to 2019

Demand for labels in the US is projected to increase 3.8 percent annually to 19.7 billion USD in 2019, with growth fueled by overall economic expansion, population increases and a healthy outlook for consumer spending, according to a new report from industry market research firm Freedonia.

US label demand to near $20bn in 2019 according to Freedonia

According to Freedonia’s Labels report, this growth rate is roughly similar to the 2009-14 period, and the continued solid growth in the pressure-sensitive segment will reflect versatility of applications as well as suitability for value added products such as smart labels.

Freedonia analyst Esther Palevsky added: ‘An important component of the label mix, glue-applied labels, will face further losses to pressure-sensitive labels, even in traditional strongholds such as wine, spirits and specialty beverages.’

Primary packaging gains will be aided by greater use of higher value labels, including security labels for pharmaceuticals and larger, full-body labels, although prospects will be held back by the maturity of some applications along with the growing use of flexible packaging, Freedonia said.

The maturing of some applications along with increasingly intense competition in primary packaging applications with other label types, especially heat shrink and in-mold labels (IML), will moderate growth.

Among competing label technologies, heat shrink and IML are expected to experience the most rapid growth through 2019, 4.9 and 5.4 percent annual growth respectively.

Secondary labeling and labels used in mailing and shipping are projected to achieve the fastest growth through 2019. Gains in secondary labeling will be promoted by increases in retail sales, and expanding identification and tracking needs in institutional, transportation and distribution markets.

Continued strong expansion for internet shopping will fuel increases in related package shipping activity, which will propel growth for labels in mailing and shipping uses. However, address labels will see continued declines based on further contraction in the volume of items being mailed in light of increased electronic communication.

Industrial label market growth will benefit from ongoing identification, tracking and instructional needs but will be held back by decelerated manufacturing output increases following the recovery from the 2007-09 recession.