The pressures on the labelling and packaging industry caused by the pandemic and the resulting changes in consumer behaviour have revealed the importance of flexibility in business models.
The following are predicted to be the principal areas for growth and innovation over the coming year:
- Innovation and Investment in Technology
Looking ahead, growth will be driven by digital technologies and higher levels of automation. Digital printing and digital embellishment solutions are changing the landscape by offering immediacy, quality, and flexibility in production, as well as reductions in waste. Continued investment in the latest technologies that allow scale, flexibility and immediacy will be key.
The importance of sustainability is accelerating rapidly following the COP26 summit. As the world turns its full attention to saving the planet, companies that already have a strong sustainability agenda in place will succeed, while those who have taken a more temporary approach or simply ignored the concern will find the path forward particularly challenging. The label industry must continue to innovate and create environmentally friendly products that deliver vital product information and highlight brilliant design, without any compromises on print quality. Biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable labels will continue to move towards the forefront of the industry, in addition to solutions such as linerless labels, as they offer a more sustainable alternative to conventional labelling materials.
- Investment in People ‘In-House’
Labour is in short supply, so recruiting is not going to be easy. Train staff well, listen to their needs, provide services that are seen as exceptional, so people stay, develop, and really improve the business.
The growing role of inkjet, 2022 will see inkjet printing and technologies truly coming of age in label and packaging production. Inkjet has much to offer in driving the customer pack experience for 2022, and now is the time for the sector to embrace this technology’s true potential as an effective, transformational, and sustainable technology for the printing of labels and packaging.
- Supply Chain Management
After the extremely challenging events of Covid and Brexit, it looks like supply chain disruptions will pose an on-going stress the label industry in 2022. Rocketing prices for everything from materials to energy will compound to create a strongly inflationary environment. Dealing locally where possible, planning and forecasting is a priority to ensure orders are placed at the very earliest opportunity, meaning stocks of essential materials can be available when needed for the brands supplied.