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The world of labeling and product decoration is changing at many levels, as AWA Alexander Watson Associates’ Global Labeling and Product Decoration Market Update 2015 confirms. The established and more mature label technologies are experiencing increasing competition from alternative decoration and packaging formats such as flexible packaging in all its forms, and direct print to the container, whether it be a carton, bottle or can. AWA’s annual assessment of current label market characteristics – now in its ninth edition -- is an established reference source for all involved in, or interested in, this complex supply chain.



Global growth rates

In a marketplace where packaging itself is undergoing significant changes, AWA reports that the heat-shrink sleeve label continued to grow at the fastest rate of usage last year, 5.3%, particularly in South America, China, and India, although growth has stabilized in the developed markets of North America and Europe. Pressure-sensitive labels also continued to represent a significant growth driver, despite the strong competition from sleeving, and showed a volume increase globally of 4.1%, while glue-applied labeling grew at a more modest 2.8%, benefitting from beverage labeling applications in the developing economies. In-mold labeling’s three technologies – IML-EB, IML-IM, and IML-TF – showed a combined growth rate of just over 3% in the global label market.



An all-round picture

Detailing trends and developments – in raw materials and M&A activity as well as in markets – and featuring results from AWA’s in-depth label market opinion survey, the newly-published Global Labeling and Product Decoration Market Update 2015 may be ordered online at, where details of the company’s extensive portfolio of publications and associated events covering labels, packaging, converting, and coating are also available.