UK • According to the latest research from Smithers Pira, digital print for packaging is worth USD 13.2 billion in 2017, and will climb to USD 23.2 billion in 2022. As such it represents a key growth area for the print industry, as well as opening new market opportunities for packaging converters and their brand customers.
The new report tracks how demand for inkjet and electrophotography print in packaging will evolve across 2017-2022. This will see an 11.2% annual increase in value across the forecast period and annual 15.4% growth in volume output.
Penetration for digital print technology is not uniform the labels sector is the early adopter and mature in some regions. Consequently future expansion will rest heavily on less-developed packaging formats principally. In 2017, the mainstream corrugated sector has a real appetite for high-volume inkjet liner and postprint systems, to provide new functions and gain plant efficiencies. Implementation is being led by some of the largest companies in the corrugated sector – as well as by more agile independents – leading to the arrival of new dedicated equipment that will enable volume production at a much more economical price.
Digital printing will enable packaging supply chains to develop, providing advantages in cost, time and flexibility for buyers and final consumers. In 2017, the great majority of packaging and labels is produced by specialist converters, delivering to fillers and packers. These fill the packs and apply labels, adding any coding, and complete packs are then delivered into the retail distribution chain.
Fundamentally, using digital printing in packaging enables brands and retailers to make decisions later that are closer to the end consumer. The result is making packaging and labels more relevant to the end consumer who ultimately determine the success or failure of brands and retailers.