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FLEXO Magazine : February 2014
Sleeve Labels Continue to Expand Global consumption of sleeve labels is forecasted to grow at a calculated annual growth rate of 5.6 percent over the next five years, according to a market report by Smithers Pira titled The Future of Stretch And Shrink Sleeves to 2019. Sleeve label consumption is projected to reach 6.4 billion square meters in 2014, with a value of approximately $4.4 billion. Sleeve labels—growing at a faster rate than the label market as a whole—represent a projected 12.5 percent share of global label consumption by area in 2014. Sleeve labeling has been used predominantly for food and beverage packaging. Combined, these areas will account for an estimated 85.3 percent market share in 2014. Gains have also been made in other non food and beverage markets, as sleeve labels are now used for categories including cosmet- ics, toiletries, pharmaceuticals and household care products. According to the study, sleeve label demand is largely driven by its advantages, specifically in terms of marketing, brand identity and shelf appeal for customers. Growing demand for plastic bottles and the light weight of both plastic and glass bottles are also positive influences on demand. Western Europe is the largest regional market for sleeve labels, accounting for a projected share of close to one third of global consumption in 2014, followed by Asia Pacific and South America. The South and Central American market is forecast to grow at the fastest rate in the next five years. As the major sleeve label markets are maturing in devel- oped countries and competition from lower cost labeling alternatives is intensifying, the market is not expected to in- crease in value as quickly as it did during the early to middle part of the last decade. The reports notes that there is mounting concern from recy- clers and brand owners that some sleeve label materials are incompatible with existing PET bottle recycling processes. To find out more, visit www.smitherspira,org To Go, Taking Off Americans will be using 3.29 billion more rigid plastic and flexible packs in 2017 than they used in 2012, making these the fastest growing segments in the U.S . pack- aging industry. The requirement for greater conve- nience and cost effectiveness will drive the use of lightweight flexible and rigid plastic packaging with innovative shapes, closures and dispensers. “T he key advantage of flexible packaging is its low intrinsic weight, which ensures lower trans- portation overheads and reduces the overall supply chain costs,” said Canadean’s Director of Packaging Services Dominic Cakebread. “T hese incremental weight savings not only provide cost benefits, but also reduce trans- portation costs and overall breakages.” Although there is a lot of pressure to reduce packaging material weight and gauge/thick- ness, the finished pack itself is still expected to have the same technical performance characteristics and functionality as existing packaging formats, which makes the produc- tion of lightweight packaging materials ever more technically demanding. Bio plastic made from agricultural by products is one of the most recent innovations within the plastic packaging industry. The new material can offer manufacturers the opportunity to reduce carbon footprints and better protect the environment through a reduced dependence on petro chemicals and other min- eral rich packaging materials. Such materials claim to offer important environmen- tal benefits, reducing fuel consumption by as much as 70 percent per ton and releasing significantly less carbon into the atmosphere. However, there is also an environmental controversy over the use of valu- able and often scarce agricultural land for growing bio polymers instead of food, which, long term, could lead to substantially higher food prices. While the flexible packaging industry offers con- siderable growth opportunity, it faces challenges such as the unstable prices of raw materials and the lack of skilled labor. Multitasking packaging machines enable companies to achieve efficient use of resources and minimize their costs. To learn more about Canadean’s various industry forecasts and to purchase its reports visit its website at www.canadean.com. Coca-Cola has set the goal of using its plant bottle technology across its entire range of bottled beverages by 2020. 18 FLEXO FEBRUARY 2014 www.flexography.org Global sleeve label consumption by end use sector, projected percentage share by area, 2014 Source: Smithers Pira