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Global Market for Digital Packaging and Labels Poised for Rapid Growth

November 16, 2009
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LEATHERHEAD, UK—November 16, 2009—The global market for digitally printed packaging and labels is projected to reach $2.4 billion in 2009. Expanding by nearly three times, this market is forecast to grow by an overall 182% and a healthy CAGR of 23% to reach close to $6.8 billion by 2014, according to a new study by Pira International.

Based on primary research and expert analysis, The Future of Digital Printing for Packaging breaks down the global market by packaging type, end–use market, application, geographic region and production process, with five-year forecasts to 2014. In addition, the study aims to clearly lay down the strengths and weaknesses associated with digital print for packaging over the 2009-14 period. The study also provides a detailed overview of key demand drivers and trends, along with an analysis of the competitive landscape for the industry and the business opportunities for equipment and consumables suppliers.

Digital printing refers to any technology that regenerates the image to be reproduced every time a copy is to be printed. The image carrier is either dynamic (as with toner) or virtual (as with inkjet).

Although every digitally printed impression appears similar, they are essentially different. Despite having some set-up time, digital printing eliminates the need for prepress and expensive conventional press make-ready, thereby greatly reducing costs. The ability to print on a wide variety of substrates also ensures the versatility of digital presses over other printing methods.

A major driver for digital printing in the packaging and label segments is the need for customisation and shorter press runs, in order to limit the amount of dormant inventory. Digital, on-demand printing of labels and packages has now become critical in the context of the current economic downturn and waste reduction initiatives, since lesser material, energy, and inks are used. Digital artwork files in standard – editable as well as PDF – formats (Quark, Adobe Illustrator, PDF, Adobe InDesign and EskoArtwork) can be received online and run after a quick preflight and imposition. Thus, jobs that used to take a few days earlier can now be turned around in an afternoon, in keeping with the just-in-time supply chain sought by brand owners.

Digital printing also allows converters to become ‘print service providers’, and offer a wider range of digital services, alongside traditional printing operations. Customer relationship management

(CRM) support, internet distribution, and digital picture library management are now among the services being tendered by printers and converters. Digital printing’s ability to do variable data printing (VDP) and enabling the production of unique products, is perhaps its greatest asset.
 

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