The Digimarc Blog

Digital Label & Package Printing Industry – 2021 Tech Predictions

As the challenging year of 2020 comes to a close, it’s time to look forward to what the new year will bring as the industry and the market adapt to changing circumstances in 2021. Digital Labels & Packaging had an excellent piece outlining what experts and insiders are predicting for the coming year.

Some highlights:

  • Increase in Healthcare Labels & Logistic Style Labels – A B Graphic’s CEO Richard Knight predicts, “Healthcare solutions have and will continue to increase: Warning labels, hand sanitizers, drugs and vaccines labels.” Knight also called out the importance of logistic style label needs for e-commerce shopping. He predicted “the need for efficiencies in this type of label production will be of prime importance to label converters.”
  • Big Growth for Web-to-Pack Industry - Aviv Ratzman, CEO, Compack believes the positive position of the web-to-pack industry (online print shop for folding cartons offering short runs and rapid delivery) will continue to grow as more packaging vendors launch their businesses online. Ratzman predicts, “the type of packaging vendors we will see entering web-to-pack will be folding carton and corrugated converters and web-to-print vendors . . . this will include more sustainable materials, less packaging waste, and more innovation to help brands connect with their audience.”
  • Sustainability & Circular Economy Initiatives - Alon Schnitzer manages global flexible packaging market development at HP Indigo. He observed, because of COVID-19, stocking of shelves had edged out sustainability as a priority, but in 2021 he sees “sustainability will move back to be top-of-mind for the label and packaging industry. In the last few years, brands have initiated aggressive goals for printing that is forest positive, carbon neutral, and supportive of a circular economy.”

The growth in online shopping during COVID-19 will likely also have a significant impact on product packaging as consumer brands grapple with counterfeit challenges. A recent article in Packaging Digest proposes that the rise of online shopping, “may pose an opportunity for packaging or product developments to help verify legitimate products and allow consumers to track their purchases from production through delivery.” And the problem is very real: The value of counterfeit and pirated goods will exceed $1.9 trillion globally by 2022, according to the International Chamber of Commerce.

Another key development already underway, and which is expected to pick up momentum in the coming years, is the rise of variable data printing labels. According to Industry Research, the market size for variable data printing is projected to reach $23 million by 2026, from $14 million in 2020, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 8.3% during 2021-2026.

Along with capitalizing on these developments, printers, premedia and packaging companies can offer their clients the ability to promote sustainability, traceability, brand protection and more, by utilizing “connected packaging” from the Digimarc Platform. Find out more and get started today.

Learn more about cutting-edge package printing trends by reading Digimarc print expert Jay Sperry’s recent article “Consumer Packaging Must be Beautiful and Smart” published in Labels & Labeling magazine.

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