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2012 Hot Markets : Printing in a Mobile World

January 2012 By Vincent Mallardi, C.M.C.

As 2012 unfolds, it will be the year of cross-media mastery—the smart management of the print-to-mobile (P2M) information chain. The imperative for printing industry companies is simple—grow laterally by enlarging their offering. Demand will grow by 4 percent or more in only nine of the top 25 hot markets for printing services. The remaining 16 will be level or reduce ink-on-paper spends, but buyers will dramatically increase their demand for front-end smart phone landings and back-end social media linkages.

In P2M, the four principal products will be smart-and-green packaging, very-large-format digital/screen printing, interactive offset/digital direct response pieces and, at the top, cross-media combinations of the foregoing, enabled by TXT messaging and QR code connections. GPS locationing and purchase/payment enablement could be added to the mix by year-end 2012. 

The best market/product/geographical combinations detailed in the paragraphs that follow will ensure a comparatively Happy New Year in a deteriorating economy!

PI Hot Printing Markets 2012
[+] click to enlarge
PACKAGED FOODS ($1.11T, +6 percent; with nearly $16B to print, 0 percent) will continue as the No. 1 buyer of print, but with cost restraints for the medium. De-packaging, line-choice contractions and brand consolidations will reduce overall demand for labels, flexible packaging and folding cartons. Double-digit increases in commodity ingredient costs will put pressure on food producers to starve printing prices. Expect to see more Sonoco/Tegrant-type packaging supplier consolidations as a result. 

The biggest dried foods and snacks category buyer, Kraft (+17 percent), will split into two companies (snacks and groceries) in late 2012. Others, such as Fortune Brands (+9 percent) and Sara Lee (-3 percent), will do the same or sell off non-core brands, providing a blip in demand as product packaging and campaigns are reintroduced. Most other run-of-press (ROP), free-standing insert (FSI) and in-store promotional printing will have level demand. Smart packaging with nanotech features is appearing slower than anticipated as too few plants have the know-how and licenses to use these processes. 

Related are No. 6-ranked BEVERAGES ($471B, +5 percent; with $10.4B to print, -4 percent) and No. 17-ranked FOOD SERVICE ($800B, +7 percent; with $5.6B to print, +6 percent). Metal decoration, screen printing, outdoor advertising and POS/POP will pour with waters and infused, new-age drinks such as PrimoWater (+>300 percent). A new segment will be home-
produced drinks introduced by Sodastream (+234 percent). 

Event-driven and product-line extensions and mergers will shake and stir packaging and print POP and ROP in the wines and spirits segment. Campari (+23 percent) has made 16 acquisitions and plans to double U.S. advertising. Jack Daniels (+12 percent) and others will take leaps into P2M employing localized relationship marketing. 
 

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The graphic communications industry is facing some very serious challenges, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a lot of life and opportunity in our future. “Competing for Print's Thriving Future” focuses on how printers can create their own positive future by understanding and taking advantage of the  changes that...

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