Printing and finishing are growing

High-quality printed and finished packaging is very much in vogue. This is also reflected in the positive development of the market.

According to a study carried out by the German Printing and Paper Technology Association in the VDMA together with the US Printing Technology Association NPES and market researchers from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the global market for packaging printing is set to grow by 5.2 percent a year up to 2020. “In 2020, we expect a total turnover of US dollars 286 billion, corresponding to an increase of US dollars 44 billion compared with the 2015 level,” explained Dr. Markus Heering, Managing Director of the VDMA’s Printing and Paper Technology Association.

According to the study, the five largest markets account for more than four fifths of the forecast sales growth. In 2015, the USA, China, Japan, Germany and Great Britain accounted for 78 percent of all sales. According to the study, India will climb to fourth place by 2020 and displace Great Britain from the Top 5, which will then account for 79 percent of all sales. The trend towards smaller, more complex packaging and ever more decentralised supply chains, in which products are increasingly packaged in regional hubs, are among the drivers of this development.

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Furthermore, the market study breaks down the growth forecasts by markets and segments. With annual rates of 5.6 percent, printing on flexible packaging is the most dynamic area, followed by printing on folding cartons and label printing, both of which will grow by 5.2 percent a year according to the analysis. As the most mature and largest segment, printing on corrugated cardboard will also remain on a growth course. The joint study predicts average growth rates of 4.5 percent here by the end of the decade.

“The packaging sector offers a very positive environment for our printing and paper machine manufacturers,” explained Association Managing Director Heering, adding that for years now companies had been gearing their portfolios consistently to this market and supplying their customers with tailored solutions. These could be efficient offset systems for cartons, gravure and flexo printing processes for foil materials, systems for direct printing on glass, metals and many other materials, or highly flexible digital inkjet technology for individualized products and rapidly changing campaigns,” said Heering. Thanks in part to intensive joint research, machine manufacturers are now able to offer a wide range of high-quality and food-compatible printing inks and coatings for all processes.

In order to raise the attractiveness of product packaging and achieve the premium look, gloss and effect coatings as well as hot and cold foils are now increasingly being used. Glitter effects are also attracting attention. Thus packaging also conveys the brand message for all products that are to be perceived as high-quality, such as for example perfumes.

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