World demand for labels is projected to increase 5.2% per year to 51.6 billion sq m in 2015, valued at $110 billion, according to “World Labels,” a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc. Advances are expected to be driven by gains in manufacturing activity, which will increase from a low 2010 base. Pressure-sensitive labels will remain the largest product type and continue to take market share from glue-applied products in major packaging applications. Above-average demand growth is also expected in other label segments, such as stretch sleeve, heat-shrink and in-mold labels, though gains in these relatively newer label technologies will stem from small bases.

In 2010, pressure-sensitive labels accounted for 52% of the global label market (in volume terms), a share that is expected to increase even further in the coming years. While demand for glue-applied labels will see below-average growth, this segment is expected to remain the second-largest overall, accounting for more than 30% of global label market volume through 2015. Smaller label segments such as stretch sleeve, heat-shrink and in-mold labels will see some of the fastest growth through the forecast period.

The Asia-Pacific region will see the most rapid gains and remain the largest regional market in the world, due to its large manufacturing industries. Central and South America, eastern Europe, and the Africa/Mideast region will also experience above-average growth. Overall, the fastest growth will occur in Asia, specifically in India, China and Indonesia. China alone will account for 31% of global label market volume gains between 2010 and 2015.

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