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Labelexpo Americas blog: Trends to look out for

With sustainability and package printing increasingly important topics in the industry, we can expect to see plenty of exciting developments at Labelexpo Americas’ EcoVillage area and Package Printing Workshops. But what else will emerge from Labelexpo Americas 2012?

At Labelexpo Europe last year, thinner materials came to the fore – with Avery Dennison and ETI Converting leading the way. This trend will likely continue, with more suppliers coming onboard, reducing waste and also enhancing the opportunities for more versatile labels, thus increasing shelf appeal.

During 2012, laser die-cutting has made its way to the forefront of many converters’ minds. It will be interesting to see if there are launches from material suppliers claiming to solve the common issues – such as beveling – associated with this emerging method.

L&L has recently been publishing regular features on smart technology, following the latest developments affecting the future of labeling. What innovative ideas will be on show in Chicago that will help the label industry to adapt to this evolution?

A reflection of this trend is a new exhibitor, Grow Socially, which specializes in website redesign and rebuilding to meet the latest trends in internet marketing, as well as social media management services. The world is changing in terms of consumer habits and visitors to the stand will be able to learn more about the value of incorporating QR codes to the label and packaging.

A British dairy farm, Wyke Farms, recently used Facebook to ask the public to vote for their favorite design for a packaging relaunch. As similar campaigns become a popular marketing tool to increase shelf appeal, the label industry will need to adapt to keep up and that means accommodating for faster turnaround times and shorter runs.

Although there won’t be an Operators Day as in Europe last year, I wonder if there will be a strong presence of the staff at the heart of the operations? L&L still has some unanswered questions – where do these skilled and knowledgeable workers learn it all, if not from trade shows?

Carol Houghton, journalist, L&L