2013 Hot Print Markets : Food for Thought, ProfitJanuary 2013 By Vincent Mallardi, c.m.c.
The year 2013 need not represent an unlucky number for our medium. The no-real-growth and rising-inflation (or stagflation) economy will shake out many printers of the past and provide very substantial opportunities for forward-looking companies crossing over to omni-channel media. Yes, printing has been condensed into a mere channel, and a narrow one useful in but a few hot applications and combinations. Here, for the heroes, are the "who," "wheres" and "whats" for a clearly happy New Year in the cloud of new media.
At No. 1, packaged foods ($1.15T, +4 percent; with $17.8B to print, +11 percent) is the most appetizing place for print. The expensive, rented by the half-inch, shelf space in supermarkets and other retail outlets hungers for smart printing in-pack, on-pack, near-pack, in-aisle, on-cart, end-aisle, on-shelf, dangling down and topped with near-field QR codes, Augmented Reality and nano-propertied inks and substrates that wink, blink, bubble, scratch and talk. These motivate product purchases and, also in the cart, containers, lids, sleeves, bags, wrappers and labels that are two-thirds of this sector's print demand.
Highest-performing segments will be healthier snack foods; prepared, ready-to-eat entrées; and small-portion, baked goods/desserts. Kraft's recent spin-off, Mondelez, promises to "unleash a global snacking powerhouse " and Campbell's Go soups in soft pouches are among several hundred totally new brand and packaging launches— most drawn from global cuisines.
Refreshing new packaging shaken and stirred with stand-out point-of-sale will pop in '13. Honest Kids is one of eight new lines of exotically enhanced, wrapped and labeled juice drinks/teas/waters hitting the shelves and sitting atop mass-merchandise displays. Sponsorship and event print are soaring, or diving as with Red Bull's recent extreme-skydiving spectacle. The energy drink giant is introducing three new brands along with a mobile, social interactive, AR racing game where the printed can directs the action.
Need a stronger drink? Wines, beers and spirits will mix well with posters, signage, decals, souvenir programs, collectible cards, outdoor/transit and imprinted "wearables." Tie-ins with limited-edition, crafted offerings will come with personalized labels and salutations from their winemakers and brew-masters thanks to VDP.