Skip to main content

THE SOUTH AMERICAN LABEL MARKET: opportunities for all technologies

AWA Alexander Watson Associates has recently published the third edition of its study of one of the world’s fastest-growing regional label markets: ‘Labeling Markets: South American Market Study & Sourcebook 2012’. It records current trends in the South American market in terms of the use of different label formats materials, and technologies, within the context of the changing demographics and the evolving structure and infrastructure in the region’s business arena.


Sout american market shares by labelling tecnology 2011

While Asia continues to drive growth in label volumes, South America (with around 6% of the world’s population) is unique in exhibiting high growth rates across all label formats – wet glue, pressure-sensitive, sleeving, and in-mold – albeit from a low starting point. Estimated regional volume growth for 2011, at 11.5%-12%, conceals significant variations by country, from a high of 12.5-13% in the leading regional economy, Brazil, to a low of around 7.5%-8% for Chile. Label usage is very much focussed on prime label applications – particularly and unsurprisingly in the beverage and food sector.

As the study shows, in terms of preferred label format, it is the glue-applied technologies – cold glue and wraparound hot melt glue-applied – that currently take the largest market share across the region. Pressure-sensitive labels enjoy only half the volumes of the glue-applied formats, but the market is continuing to invest in narrow-web flexo/UV flexo and in digital label print -- confirming the growth potential for this format. Opportunities in pressure-sensitive labels also exist in particular in the area of added functionalities – especially security labels using anti-counterfeiting devices, and clear-on-clear film labels for beverages.


South american label market. Application segmentation by volume, 2011

Sleeving technologies have so far achieved only 3% market penetration, but are growing rapidly. In-mold labeling is still in its relative infancy but, following strong investment in 2011, is forecast to grow considerably in the medium term.

‘Labeling Markets: South American Market Study & Sourcebook 2012’ concludes with a regional supplier directory covering press manufacturers, pressure-sensitive laminators, paper and film suppliers, and printers. It is an in-depth reference source for all considering investment in this dynamic economic region’s label value chain, and for all companies already active there – labelstock producers, material suppliers, technology providers, and converters. The study is available to order online via AWA Alexander Watson Associates’ website,, where details of all currently available market research studies, and the company’s related events, are also listed.