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FLEXO Magazine : September 2014
State Of The Industry Talking Present, Future & Challenges of Label, Flexo Industries Among the companies involved with Labelexpo Americas' two days of presentations and panel discussions are a number of FTA members. Here, FLEXO® speaks to three executives: Jay Lu , vice president at McDowell Label; Michael Lane, CEO at Lo on Labels; and Scott Fisher, president at Smyth Companies. JAY LUFT Vice President, McDowell Label FLEXO®: What is the state of the label industry? Where does it stand compared to three or ve years ago and where is it going? Jay Lu : e label industry as a whole con- tinues to be strong in a number of categories. Ratio, trends and busi- ness studies, like the ones the Tag and Label Manufactures Institute conducts regularly, point to still positive growth within manufacturing groups. Since the economy has picked up since 2008/2009, there has been a resurgence in consumer con dence in the retail sector. From a narrow web printer perspective, this means the opportunity to do print packaging for new product lines within existing markets; new growth areas within the health, beauty and spirits industries. e push of all the new micro breweries is a great example of new customers needing new packaging on their products. As a whole, if the economy stays stable or grows, there will be more and more opportunity for narrow web printers to continue to nd new packaging print opportunities. FLEXO®: What are some challenges facing the label industry? Lu : Consolidation, I believe, has and will continue to have impact throughout the industry. In order for the label industry to continue to grow, the need for improving existing technologies and the contin- uous development of new processes and techniques will be critical to maintaining growth. Organizations like FTA help to educate and promote innovation and their continued involvement in these areas is very important. In addition, as digital technology gets re ned and improves, many or- ganizations face the decision if they will need to venture into that type of technology. Right now, digital technology does not t the needs for a good share of the industry, but as the technology improves, that percentage will continue to increase. FLEXO®: What growth opportunities are emerging in the industry? Lu : Many retailers are expanding stores and increasing private brands within their stores. Expanding technologies in the di erent types of exible packaging that can be printed will allow for the fun- damental change in how brand managers look at their products and how they want them displayed on the retail shelf. 26 FLEXO | SEPTEMBER 2014 INDUSTRY INDICATORS