While labels are as varied as the products they appear on, we can identify certain trends that emerge, evolve, and persist throughout the years in the industry, especially in regards to the types of labels used by manufacturers.

Practicality, reliability and simplicity still weigh in the balance, but the paradigm is changing and there are new influences that drive the choices being made when selecting labeling types. As I’ll explain, some boost the presence of existing technologies even more, while others are the driving force behind the emergence of new technologies.

By far, pressure sensitive labels have been the most popular type of label for a long time. And studies suggest their use by manufacturers will continue to be dominant – more than doubling from 2000 to 2015. According to a study*, that means going from $7 to $14 billion in market share in the US alone!

However, other types of labels are also here to stay and should even offer a growing competition, following the market and global demand. Among those, stretch sleeve and heat shrink types are those whose usage should be spreading more, according to manufacturers interviewed for this study.

Other well-known types such as glue applied, thermal transfer, and in-mold labels should stay around for a while and grow steadily, new emerging technologies and types of labels could also be taking their share eventually, a consequence of the new challenges facing the labeling and packaging industries.

Ecological considerations and costs of production are constantly driving manufacturers to innovate and renew their methods, such as using more post-consumer recycled materials, reducing material thickness, minimizing label waste, and so on. Besides, the introduction of new label types and the constant evolution of printer technologies allow for more creative, more sustainable, more durable, and cheaper labeling.

Doing business with knowledgeable partners is crucial in making sure you explore every possibility and benefit from the best solutions this dynamic industry has to offer.  Trends in this industry are complex and that’s where IMS comes in to help you make the right choice!

Labels to 2015 — Demand and Sales Forecasts, Market Share, Market Size, Market Leaders. Fredonia Study