Forecasts and trends for label printing 2023
Tuesday 24. January 2023 - The move towards digitalisation is being fuelled by brands and retailers who expect label production to be more agile and able to respond quickly to rapidly changing demand patterns. Konica Minolta presents the trends and drivers in label printing in the coming year.
Label production has gone mainstream, with more than a third of the total value already created entirely digitally or hybrid.
Trend 1: Printers evolve into smart factories
The big trend in 2023 is “Smart Factory”. The tense situation on the raw material markets and rising energy costs are forcing printing companies to take a critical look at the overall economic picture of their own business. Optimisation potential is needed across all business processes. Workflow, software and process automation, together with the use of cloud solutions, are important levers for breaking up cost blocks. A higher degree of automation in production and more efficiency in back-office processes will help label converters to achieve a healthy economic position in 2023. An “intelligently networked workplace” that uses “as-a-service” offerings and managed IT solutions relieves companies on the cost side and strengthens flexibility in their business processes.
Trend 2: Sustainable production as a competitive advantage
Digital label printing is flourishing. Run lengths are continually decreasing and small series are only economically feasible with digital printing processes. In 2023 print buyers will also pay increasing attention to sustainability factors. This is where the resource-saving aspects of digital printing come into play: fewer rejects and thus a reduction in waste. In addition to good arguments in customer discussions, this helps print companies to get a grip on questions of raw material availability as well as price and energy increases.
Trend 3: Smaller households, greater number of packages
Consulting firm Smithers formulates an important trend for 2023: “As the population grows and the number of smaller households increases, so will the amount of packaging. “1 Single-person e-commerce requires more packaging to protect items in transit: Bottles, jars, food packaging – many of these need a label and Smithers puts the value of the global digitally printed label market at $12.6 billion in 2022. This has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% since 2017, while volume has grown at an average of 10.8%.2 In addition, Smithers forecasts that digital label printing will reach nearly $20 billion by 2032 as the performance of digital narrow web presses outperforms analogue production and digital finishing and converting options become available.
Trend 4: Growth continues unabated
The latest figures from market analysts paint a consistent picture: the growth potential for digital label printing will remain unbroken in the coming months. IDC forecasts that the Western European market for digital label and packaging printers is likely to grow by 13.1% by 2025.3 For its part, the European Self-Adhesive Label Industry Association FINAT has determined in a study that more than one-third of respondents (37%) intend to buy a digital press and convert to digital production in 2023. This is a significant jump compared to last year (21%).
Trend 5: Modern technology lowers operating costs
As a global technology provider with a local service structure, Konica Minolta has been serving small and medium-sized label converters for more than six years. With the introduction of the AccurioLabel 400, Konica Minolta is now targeting the high-end markets. The AccurioLabel 400 lowers operating costs thanks to even more durable components and allows printing in 4- or 5-colour configuration for labels with white toner. It also produces at a maximum print speed of up to 39.9 metres per minute.
“We are extremely positive about the future. Digital label technology will continue to expand into the traditional flexo and offset sectors – good news for all those who are already actively producing digitally and for those who want to develop further,” says Joerg Hartmann, Managing Director Konica Minolta Business Solutions Germany and Austria.