Label Release Liner Report: Developments, Innovations and ChallengesOctober 12, 2012
Sustainability and increasing competition from other label formats are subjects that dominate the agenda of the pressure-sensitive label industry. They were hot topics at this year’s AWA Label Release Liner Industry Seminar, held in Chicago just prior to the Labelexpo Americas trade show.
The event, organized and hosted annually by AWA Conferences & Events, focuses on the largest application for the use of release liner: pressure-sensitive labelstock represents 50 percent of the total release liner market. The seminar represents a unique opportunity for the industry supply chain to get together at a convenient moment and evaluate developments, innovations, and challenges.
This year’s seminar did not disappoint. A full program of papers, plus a lively Q&A session and a tabletop exhibition, made the day a real forum for information exchange among industry participants, who came from many corners of the world and many levels of the label release liner value chain.
Global label market overview
AWA Alexander Watson Associates—parent of AWA Conferences & Events—is a global business-to-business market research, publishing, and advisory services company with a unique industry focus on the specialty paper, film, packaging, coating and converting industry. The company’s president and CEO, Corey M. Reardon, opened the seminar proceedings with an informed overview of the global label market—encompassing wet glue, sleeving, in-mold, and flexible packaging, as well as the core topic of pressure-sensitive labeling. Overall growth in this sector in 2011 is estimated to be at around four to 4.5 percent, with pressure-sensitive labeling growing at 3.7 percent. Pressure-sensitive labeling represents 39 percent of the total label market, Reardon showed, of which 50 percent is in prime label applications and 50 percent in functional variable information print.
The regional picture
Reardon went on to look at pressure-sensitive labeling markets from a regional viewpoint, highlighting the regions exhibiting the strongest growth—currently South America (primarily Brazil), followed by Asia Pacific (particularly China and India). 80 percent of medium-term growth, he forecasts, will come from the emerging markets. The North American and European markets are mature, and Europe is additionally suffering from continuing economic uncertainty. Looking at end-use market segments, food is, overall, the largest, and the optimal growth opportunity. Other key segments—also offering considerable future prospects—include HPC, pharmaceuticals, and transport and logistics.