InfoTrends, a worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm, has projected strong growth in demand for digital color printing in the packaging industry. In its report--Digital Color Printing in Packaging: The Ecosystem that details the parties, technologies, and processes involved in this up and coming area of the market--the group evaluated the global market for digitally printed color packaging was $1.95 billion in 2009. InfoTrends expects the global digital color package printing market to reach $4.05 billion in 2014.
InfoTrends analysts looked at a wide range of digital printing done for the packaging marketing from a diverse range of sources including color print-on-demand (POD) systems and wide format systems. Much of the demand for color electrophotographic and inkjet printing was for full and spot color "prime" labels used to decorate foods, beverages, drugs and other consumer products. The group noted that digital color printing also is beginning to be used to decorate folding cartons, flexible packaging and even metal cans.
The study cites two main forces driving the move to digital color package printing:
- The steady advance of digital color printing technology in terms of productivity, image quality, and total cost of ownership
- The growing need among manufacturers of consumer goods for short runs of packaging
Bob Leahey, an associate director at InfoTrends, comments, "In less than 15 years, the digital color ecosystem has grown to become a significant part of the overall packaging industry. Looking ahead, the digital color ecosystem will grow and change to have a continually greater role in packaging. In particular, inkjet will be increasingly influential in future markets, given its recent, rapid growth and the number of products set for launch in 2010."