The European market for labels

Advertisement, information, and monitoring: Labels are indispensable in logistics and retail. Just like the whole packaging market, labels are continuously further developed by means of product and technical innovations. “New trends and regulations, for example concerning recycling or RFID tags, influence this special market”, explains Oliver Kutsch, CEO of Ceresana. The market research company forecasts demand for paper and plastic labels in Europe to increase by 1.6% per year in the upcoming eight years.


Different Countries, different labels

The demand for labels in the various countries is mainly influenced by the development of the particular consumer goods segments. Changes in typical consumption patterns, substitution effects as well as new trends in the segment packaging material indirectly affect demand volumes of labels. The current study of Ceresana thus examines the particular development of individual segments in 21 country profiles. Throughout Europe, plastic labels will mainly increase in the segments cosmetics & pharma, bottled water, and food.


Shrink labels accounting for highest increases

Especially the manufacturers of in-mold labels (IML) as well as of shrink and stretch labels will be able to enjoy rising sales. IML are mainly made of standard plastics such as polypropylene and polyethylene-HDPE; but also hybrid plastics are especially manufactured for this purpose. If high-quality surfaces or a maximum display use are important for a product, IM labels can be the right choice: By embedding into the the product, they are always protected and cannot be damaged during transportation nor during another step in the logistics chain. IM labels and packaging material can be made from the same plastics which enables a complete and smooth recycling. Shrink and stretch labels can offer unique shapes and print motives on very large spaces. Therefore, they become more and more popular, especially in the segments food, beverages, and cosmetics & pharma. The researchers of Ceresana expect the demand for shrink and stretch labels throughout Europe to increase by 3.3% per year.


PET replaces PVC

The desired characteristics and the budget mainly determine the label material. For a long time, PVC was the first choice for shrink labels – despite reservations on the part of environmentalists and health associations. In the mean time, labels made of PETG, that is, labels made of PET modified with glycol, are usually superior in regard to shrinkage capabilities, transparency, and optics. However, they are still expensive. The trend towards shrink labels and the increasing renunciation of PVC enable PET to account for the most significant growth of all the plastic types that are used for labels.


The study in brief:

Chapter 1 provides data on demand for labels in square meters for the period from 2008 to 2024 for the whole of Europe as well as for 21 individual countries. Furthermore, chapter 1 includes detailed country-specific data on label demand split by the material paper as well as the plastic types PE, PP, PVC, PET, and other plastics. Additionally, demand per applications and label types are offered here.
Chapter 2 examines the demand for labels in individual application areas whereby information on the several national markets is given: lemonades, water, fruit juices, other non-alcoholic beverages, beer, wine & spirits, food, cosmetics & pharma, and other applications.

Chapter 3 presents the demand split by types of labels. The categories “self adhesive labels”, “glue applied labels”, “shrink and stretch labels”, “in-mold labels”, as well as “other labels” are examined.

Chapter 4 provides useful profiles of the largest manufacturers of labels, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, profile summary, products, and applications. In-depth profiles of 63 manufacturers are provided, Amcor, Avery, CCL, Constantia, Coveris, Dow Corning, Huhtamaki, Mondi, R. R. Donnelley, and UPM.





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