Nine Reasons Why Digital Packaging is Growing

Nichole Jones
Jun 22, 2010

Digital package printing is poised for big growth as advances in digital printing technology can now feed heightened demand for shorter runs of packages and labels from consumer goods manufacturers. At the same time, while many printing markets are losing share to the Internet, packaging is a market that can’t be digitized. Package printers, converters, and commercial printers can all benefit by expanding into this market.

According to our 2010 Market Assessment: Color Digital Printing in Packaging and Label Converting, InfoTrends projects that digital package printing will grow 15.7% annually, rising from $1.8 billion in 2009 to over $3.7 billion in 2014. Packaging represents the single biggest analog-to-digital print opportunity in the graphic communications market.

Key growth contributors include: 

  1. Increases in private labeling and resulting shorter runs
  2. Package testing
  3. Customizing for target markets or event marketing
  4. Making the package interactive
  5. Streamlined solutions for secure variable data label printing
  6. Improvements in supply chain management
  7. An emphasis on sustainability
  8. Expanded media options
  9. Available technology (e.g., the presses and beyond)

Advances in digital printing technology have created great opportunities for package printers, converters, and commercial printers to expand into this market. The technology is now well-established in the packaging market mainly because of its success in producing full- and spot-color labels for use in decorating food and beverage containers, personal care items, and other consumer goods. Another application area gaining ground, because of previous production methods being costly and time-consuming, is package prototyping and test runs.

The raise of retailers’ private brands, lower-cost alternatives to major brands, is also fueling the need for digital color in the packaging world. Retailers can leverage the technology to deliver better looking packages that grab consumers’ attention. Short run capabilities are attractive because they offer versioning at lower cost.

Major brands are also reaping benefits from digital printing. Consider Procter & Gamble (P&G), one of the largest makers of consumer goods in the world. It markets and supports over 350 brands globally. Languages, cultures, government regulations, and competition all spur continuous label and packaging development. Digital printing offers P&G and all major brands the advantages of speed, flexibility, short runs, and lower cost.

Proctor & Gamble Packages

No matter how you package it, the time for digital packaging is here. To assist print and packaging service providers in maximizing sales strategies and marketing efforts, InfoTrends launched a Packaging Business Development Strategies advisory service. The service provides a “how-to” approach to effectively go after the digital packaging opportunity and offers existing service providers the tools to enhance their efforts.

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