Future of digital print in packaging

Due to its capability for customization and short press runs, digital print for packaging is the most dynamic and fastest-growing part of the print market, and it’s becoming more valuable to brands.

Sean Smyth at Digital Print for Packaging US 2019 in Orlando.
Sean Smyth at Digital Print for Packaging US 2019 in Orlando.

Digital print for packaging is expected to more than double in value, while corrugated, cartons, flexibles, and rigids follow the well-established digital label production sector, according to research from Smithers Pira’s new report, The Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2024. Smithers Pira also recently convened the Digital Print for Packaging US 2019, coverage of which can be found in the following links:





In 2019, the total market value of all digital packaging and label printing is $18.9 billion, the equivalent of 206 billion A4 prints, a total of 2.54 million metric tons of production. In the last five years, the market has more than doubled in value and volume, with tonnage up by 255%.

Global growth rates will have moderated to 10.9% CAGR in value and 13.1% in print volume by 2024, verifying how the cost of production will continue to fall as the market grows. Because of this growth, technology providers will continue to invest in improving the performance of their equipment.

There are many reasons why companies across the supply chain are investigating digital printing technology. For example, converters are working to develop new experiences for their customers and drawing from changing brand requirements. Because digital technology produces short runs economically with greater fragmentation for more product varieties, brands are able to provide greater choice. This allows them to meet demand from changing customer demographics.

Despite this rapid growth, digital print makes up just 1.86% of the volume of all printed labels and packaging, remaining a small proportion of the overall packaging market in 2019, and a much smaller proportion of all packaging. Digital represents 6.38% of the printed packaging market, which is why it is of great interest to brands, retailers, pack and label converters, and equipment and consumable providers. Digital technology is used in labels, cartons, corrugated, flexibles, rigid plastics, and metal decorating.

For more information on the drivers and trends for digital printing, please visit here.

And be sure to exploreThe PACKage Printing Pavilion at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, September 23-25.

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