As per the Smither Pira report, data suggests the label printing market worldwide is around $36.98 billion in 2017, thereby growing at the rate of 4.1% year-on-year to reach $45.22 billion in 2022. The same period will also witness the growth of printed labels to rise to 1.04 trillion A4 sheet equivalents. Amidst the growth of the label and packaging industry, customized food wrappers and the packaging industry segment has created a niche for itself. As per one of the recent surveys on packaging and labeling techniques, the top three leading packaging features are a peel-off label (59%), a recognizable logo (56%), and bright and attractive colors (53%).
Why customizing food wrappers and food packaging is important for brands
1. Creating a positioning – Customized food packaging makes it easy for customers to identify and recall the product easily. Unique and consistent colors, readable texts, using the same fonts, graphics and adequate information about ingredients and shelf life.
2. Finding niches – Food packaging helps brands in creating niches and stand out in the competition. The brand elements and packaging type and color help in doing this and thus again one of the reasons why customized food wrapper and packaging is very important.
3. Changing customer requirements – Customers’ requirements are dynamic and owing to the fact that technology is enabling everything for them, their demands are increasing. The increasing efficiency and capabilities of printing presses with advanced automation, faster press speeds, high-tech inspection and web guiding systems are giving faster job changes. A decade or two, such short print run jobs are not possible.
Here are the few emerging trends in customized food wrapper and food packing industry and how web to print is an enabler for them –
1. Personalized packaging – Personalization is more than a trend, looking to the changing customer requirements and the ability of technologies to cater to it. Technologies are enabling companies to drive a parallel path between customer expectations and delivering experiences, which is both good and bad. Good as it creates brand differentiation and bad as brands cannot afford to lag in competition. Some of the successful personalized campaigns which we see are Nutella offering personalized jars, Coca Cola’s “Share a coke” campaigns, Credit and Debit cards providing cards with personalized name and images. The personalized campaigns went mainstream globally and proved successful.
Spirits brand Whiskey created a website where people created their own blends from up to seven variants of the spirit and design their own label bottle. Going by the same principle, brands can work with Web-to-Print service providers to set up a website and have customers design their own label and food packaging. These kinds of online label design software provide interactive ways of hyper-personalization, allowing customers to interact with brand elements.
This gets converted into direct revenues for brands as customizing products creates a more positive effect on a brand when it’s being personalized. Going ahead, we will see web to print software utilize voice command controls, big data and other leading technologies to help companies sustain the digital race.
2. Cleaner and clearer labelling – Labelling is becoming crucial and thus brands are stressing on providing cleaner, clearer and concise information on the packaging. Customers don’t want unnecessary messages but also don’t want to miss on the useful ones. Online label designer tool helps manufacturers in keeping pace with the customer demands. These tools help in organizing workflows for label manufacturers and taking care of all pre-print production requirements.
The old age manual ways of putting labels into production are time-consuming, error-prone and costs companies a lot. Whereas web to print or online design tools even come with variable data printing capabilities making it easy for label printing service providers to optimize the whole printing process.
3. Data utilization – Online label designer comes with robust backend features that capture all the details of past labels being designed using it. This helps companies in storing all the data and utilize the designs later based on the success rate of each label or even in designing new campaigns. Repeatable patterns help in developing strong brand entity and keeping design unique without getting boring. Again features like variable data printing allows label printers to personalize labels efficiently to customize it for individual products or specific products. Getting online and capturing data is imperative for all new age business models. Web to print with label printing capabilities helps in providing a complete view of label orders, specifications, workflow, approval management making it easy for both customers and businesses.
4. Changing pre-press and printing – The prepress area gains have changed significantly, and also the operations around printing operations. With changing customer expectations, the customer expects more from a label, instead just being packaging or information disbursement tool. Web to print technologies with label printing modules add high value for individualization, shorter runs, personalization, while adding value in terms of finishing and embellishments, everything as per customer demand. These trends expand beyond pre-press, printing and even post-press activities in terms of the interactive label.
An interactive label can Increase sales, helps in driving unique visitors to your website, create viral social marketing, present customers with relevant coupons, additional information, cross-selling opportunities, track consumer behavior, provide location information etc. These are just some of the possibilities, and can even go beyond our current imagination.
Stay ahead of your competition
The label designing industry has seen an evolution in technical innovation over the past few years. Advancements in Web-to-Print, variable data printing, prepress and printing technology, colour management and pricing management modules, high-end finishing solutions are just a few technologies that are overlooked by label printing companies. The ultimate enabler for all these technologies is web to print or online label design solutions. These technologies are going to stay and we are not seeing a slowing in these trends anytime soon.
Label printing businesses have to decide their capital investment and how to take advantages of these developments and technologies. Strategic investments in these technologies by picking a strategic theme for innovating business models can help in costs reduction, increase productivity and boost market share by diversifying services. Investing and picking a right strategic theme will help in staying ahead in the competition and being relevant in the age.