Melissa harton, marketing director, acucote

Unlike in previous years, we believe that sustainability is now to stay. From a raw material and organizational point of view – our customers expect solutions. The demand for thinner release paper and surface materials will continue to remain normal, the demand for materials containing recycled ingredients will increase, biodegradable and compostable materials will continue to develop, and materials produced with more organic resources will form a supply. We can even get plant, vegetable and fruit based flour.

2021 is still very unpredictable, but the emerging digital coating materials will continue to grow. We expect more nutrition and marijuana labels. With the popularity of covid-19 for one year, there is still a potential growth in the basic label of food packaging. We are seeing an increasing demand for safety / security labels and for pharmaceutical products related to covid and overall health.

Analysis of RFID market trend in 2021

Harald Wallner, director of international sales, Herma

At present, we believe that COVID-19 will eventually be curbed in the next one or two years. We still have to deal with boring months, maybe even years before us. But the positive news about vaccine development gives everyone the confidence they’ve been waiting for. As confidence grows, so does the market.

But we should not deceive ourselves: (in fact) things will not go back to the way they used to be. Many of the issues that received less attention in 2020 will come back in 2021, most notably the key discussion on how we can stop the extreme threat of climate change and what form of sustainable management is needed.

Fortunately, our industry has seen a lot of changes in sustainability. Our customers and end users of labels are closely following Herma’s news about new products or manufacturing processes. In addition, we have also received a high level of feedback and discussion. This kind of “conventional” new product was unimaginable in the past. For us, this is the best proof that our products are on target.

We can now provide a complete product portfolio for printing enterprises and label users, which we call hermarethink. It is based on the three core requirements put forward by the European Union, namely recycling, reduction and renewal. For example, this applies to our bottomless label system hermainno liner and label materials that are almost entirely made of recycled PE film. However, it is also suitable for adhesive materials with reduced material usage or increased proportion of recycled materials, as well as a series of different washable adhesives. So it’s no surprise that we won the famous German packaging award twice in a row in the sustainability category. This year we also received the Austrian green packaging star.

We will continue to focus on sustainability in 2021, both in the development of new products and in the marketing of our existing product portfolio. This is because the end-users of labels will move in this direction on the one hand, and on the other hand, they are very open to practical and convincing innovation in this field.

Patrick Graber, label marketing director of pouvent group

We will see an acceleration of existing trends in 2021. Brand owners will continue to demand more customization, resulting in shorter print volumes, while expecting faster time to market – all at lower or lower prices.

We will see more demand for digital printed labels printed with all digital technologies, including inkjet, toner and liquid electrostatic imaging. Among these technologies, we will witness a new growth chapter of inkjet printing, because the new cluster technology of pouvent group, which combines high quality with high speed, defines a new normal.

The market will also witness new label solutions that integrate primer, printing, finishing and die-cutting as a complete digital and online process with higher efficiency and faster time to market.

Processing enterprises will need more automation and digitization to maintain competitiveness and reduce dependence on printer operators. Quality control system and extended gamut printing instead of traditional ink matching will help to optimize the production process, thus improving the cost structure and equipment utilization.

Sustainability will become more and more important. Processing companies will be looking for water-based inkjet printing, which will become the norm for many applications.

Finally, new business models, such as online printing, will grow further, providing a convenient source of commodity labels for small and medium-sized companies.

Ian Axelsen, business development director of AA label company

More and more online transactions through Amazon and eBay are becoming an expectation. Customers want to place orders effortlessly and get them done quickly. Consumer preference for environmentally sustainable products has declined slightly this year, but this is only temporary, and we expect the continued growth of this trend to resume in 2021.

Due to the changes of market conditions and requirements, the industry trend has been intensified and accelerated. Many manufacturers are responding to this challenge and plan to invest in maintaining leading and valuable technologies.

In Europe, for manufacturers with large and growing export businesses, the continued easing of trade possibilities with EU countries in 2021 remains an unknown issue.

The demand for professional materials and adhesives is also very interesting for processing enterprises in the middle market. Boldly invest in materials and provide products needed by customers, which is targeted and can bring opportunities to enter export markets all over the world.

Due to the increasing use of e-commerce and consumers’ environmental concerns about sustainable packaging and the use of single purpose plastics, the demand for labels has actually increased. This is reflected in the use of removable and resealable adhesives, and the growth of biodegradable label finishes.

The demand for short print, driven by improvements in logistics, product specificity and personalized cost control, means that manufacturers responding to this trend are seeing more growth from additional market share.

In addition, the demand for innovation and label finishing is also increasing, not only creating very interesting choices in more traditional production technologies, but also introducing new decorations and inks.

In all markets, technological developments have brought about changes, coupled with the production of labels, which is to develop label solutions closer to the end user and combine the hitherto largely independent label and packaging industry with interesting and innovative production solutions.

Kyozo Kotani, general manager of photographic functional materials of Toyo textile company

This year’s epidemic highlights two challenges facing the market: increased productivity and remote customer support. These two factors, together with sustainable development, will be key trends in 2021.

With regard to productivity improvement, we see strong market demand this year, which will continue in 2021. In particular, the installation of process automation will be accelerated at all stages. As for prepress, solvent-free process, such as washing, has been the trend to improve productivity. Automatic plate making has become a trend.

Cross border travel will remain difficult at least in the first half of 2021, and many suppliers are providing the necessary support to utilize online communication tools and enrich digital content on websites, and this trend will continue.

Countries such as China are imposing stricter restrictions on companies’ operations to reduce environmental impacts. As for plate making, we will develop new products with low environmental impact, not only for water cleaning, but also with a complete wastewater recovery system.

Oliver Kay, sales and business development director, 3dag

The main trends in this area will continue. Consumer demand for smart and networked packaging will continue to grow, as will global trade and e-commerce. Counterfeiting will grow, so we need to implement intelligent anti-counterfeiting brand protection technology. The budget for implementing these technologies will pay off.

The price of smart tags per unit (i.e. serialized QR code, RFID, NFC, etc.) will drop – so that we can finally print and scale. More brand protection and tracking technologies supporting blockchain technology will be applied.

The processing enterprise will make every package “intelligent”, so the brand can “open” as needed – for example, print a serialized QR code supporting gtindatalink on each package, whether it is needed or not.

It’s all about data: real time data collection, big data, AI based analysis, business intelligence, forecasting, intelligent “one-to-one” user participation.

New laws and government regulations will put more pressure on sustainable packaging and CSR, and will promote “smart” consumer recycling programs and incentives.

Editor in charge ajx

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