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FLEXO Magazine : March 2014
Of this total, some 85 percent are in heat shrink sleeves, 10 percent are in stretch sleeves and, of the balance, AWA es- timates that around 0.5 percent of total sleeve label volumes are in RFS sleeving. Despite its low market share, this is an important label format to monitor, as it represents the fastest growth rate of all labeling technologies. RFS label growth in the U.S. is the highest of any region, with significant invest- ment in high volume, high speed filling/labeling lines. In mold labeling (IML) represents around 2 percent of the global market. It remains a “bijou” or niche labeling format. Looking at the individual label formats’ performance, it is interesting to compare the global 2012 label market of ±4 percent to that of the two major label formats: Pressure sen- sitive labels grew at a global rate equal to that of the overall market, whereas glue applied labels, at a rate of 3 percent, fell short. Both formats showed strong growth in developing markets, but were below average in Europe and North Amer- ica as a result of market maturity, the prevailing economic situation and a fall off in key markets such as beverages. Sleeve label growth remains strong in all regions. Aver- aging ±6.5 percent, it is driven by the volume growth in heat shrink sleeve labels, estimated at 7 percent to 7.5 percent. Stretch sleeve labels are not so widely popular but have specific applications that drive a modest growth of ±2 per- cent. Historically, MD shrink label styles have not developed strongly—partly because of a lack of applicator technology. With the development of higher shrinkage coextruded films and improved application and seaming technologies, the reel SLEEVE 16% Share of Global Volume 85% Heat Shrink Share of Sleeve Market 10% Stretch Sleeve Share of Sleeve Market 6.5% Typical Annual Growth Rate Forecasted Through 2018 “MD shrink format is showing very high growth—9 .5 percent. This is a technology to watch.” IN MOLD 2% Share of Global Volume 2.5% Annual Growth Rate Recently Experienced 3% Annual Growth Rate Forecasted Through 2018 “Europe is the ‘center of excellence’ for IML applications.” 16 FLEXO MARCH 2014 www.flexography.org