Overview of Global Package Printing Market

Package printing refers to the process of reproducing text and images on the packaging materials, including paper, plastics, metal, etc. Package printing is required for production and sales of consumer goods by incorporating production information (e.g. name, content), label and highlighting the product design with various color and printing effects (e.g. spot ultra-violet, lamination).

Industry Chain

. Upstream: Upstream mainly consists of suppliers who provide equipment and other supplies for printing. Equipment covers printing press, digital printer and their auxiliary accessories.

. Midstream: Midstream consists of all types of package printing companies in the industry. As the complementary service manufacturing industry, package printing companies play an important function of bridging the gap between upstream and downstream.

. Downstream: The downstream application industries of package printing are extensive, including food and beverage, medical, home appliances, cosmetics, consumer goods and so forth.

Market size of global package printing market

Overall market size

The size of global package printing market in terms of revenue grew from USD266.0 billion in 2012 to USD316.0 billion in 2016, representing a CAGR of 4.4%, and it will keep increasing to reach USD377.5 billion in 2021, representing a CAGR of 3.5% over the period from 2017 to 2021.

Package printing has been the largest sector in printing market in the last decade. Packaging is also the most fast-growing sector, as it is positively correlated with some key industries such as fast-moving consumer goods and food industry. Package printing took up a share of 41.6% in the overall printing market in the global range in 2012. This percentage rose to 43.7% in 2016 and is projected to reach 46.0% in 2021.

Package printing has a wide range of application fields. Consumer products, promotion, advertising and education are typical traditional markets, while food, cosmetics and medical are relatively new and enjoying increasing proportion in the application of package printing. The fields of food, cosmetics and medical have higher requirements on the sanitation and digitalization level of package printing services. These fields demonstrated faster growth in comparison with the traditional application fields. During the period from 2012 to 2016, the global market size of package printing services in the fields of food, cosmetics and medical in terms of revenue rose from USD67.3 billion to USD88.8 billion, representing a CAGR of 7.2%, while traditional application fields showed a CAGR of 3.4%. It is expected that the market size of package printing services in the fields of food, cosmetics and medical will reach USD114.5 billion in 2021 with a CAGR of 5.1% over the period from 2017 to 2021, still representing a higher developing speed compared with that of traditional application fields, of which the CAGR is estimated to be 2.9%.

Market size breakdown by key region

In the global range, Asia took up the largest share with the ratio of 33.6% in the package printing market in 2016, while North America was the second largest with an occupying rate of 24.1%, and Europe took up a share of 19.8%. The revenue generated from package printing in the area of Asia totaled USD106.2 billion in 2016, while that of North America, Europe and the rest of the world amounted USD76.2 billion, USD62.6 billion and USD71.1 billion, respectively. The United States was the largest nation-level package printing market in the world, while the PRC was the second largest in the globe but was the largest nation-level package printing market in Asia.

Market size of package printing in the PRC

Driven by the growing demand for safe and environmental packaging, the market size of package printing in the PRC in terms of revenue grew at a CAGR of 5.2%, rising from USD53.8 billion in 2012 to USD65.8 billion in 2016. It is projected that the market size of package printing in the PRC would still maintain a stable growth rate, with the revenue reaching USD80.3 billion in 2021, demonstrating a CAGR of 3.9% over the period from 2017 to 2021. The growth is likely to be stimulated with the further development of IoT (details of which are set forth in the paragraph headed ‘‘Overview of IoT Related Intelligent Packaging Market in the PRC).

Market drivers

. Growth in packaging market

Driven by a number of factors, global packaging market is anticipated to embrace positive growth in the future. Growing urbanization, investment in housing and construction, the development of retail chains and the burgeoning healthcare and cosmetics sectors tend to drive the demand for packaging, especially in countries like the PRC, India and other emerging economies, thus creating more demand for package printing. Also, the increase in per capita disposable income has fueled the consumption across a broad range of products as for consumers, with subsequent growth in demand for the packaging of these goods.

. Upgrading in consumption pattern of consumers

The upgrading in consumption pattern and consumer behavior is also a driver to the development of package printing market. Now, consumers are increasingly focusing on the improvement of living standards and life quality, especially in those developing regions. As for daily consumption, they prefer those goods with more premium packages, indicating higher level of safety and environmental friendliness of products, which are necessities for the packaging in food, medical and cosmetics area, especially in the developed and mature markets such as the US, Japan, and Western Europe. Consumers have also demonstrated increasing awareness towards the safety and environmental-friendliness of packaging in other areas, including consumer products, promotion, advertising and education. In these markets, packaging that incorporates recycled paper, safe plastics, or other clean technology is viewed positively by consumers, as it serves as an indication of a company’s environmental consciousness and attentiveness towards consumer safety. These qualities of product packaging reflect the preferences and ethics of modern consumers, and work to instill greater trust in the product and in the distributing firm. Customers’ preference for higher level of safety and environmental-friendliness likely drive the products to be priced higher than the average price, because higher cost is expected on account of clean production and high-standard quality control process, such as the setup of aseptic manufacturing facilities and stricter supervision system. Also, corporate customers prefer using biodegradable printing materials as it would ultimately minimize their operational costs such as the expenditure on waste disposal, and it turns out to be a monetized reward to them. Thus, the higher requirement on the improvement of package printing techniques, equipment and related materials will improve the profitability of the market participants as well as promote the development of package printing industry.

. Demand for effective marketing from merchants

The fast-moving market status, especially the market of consumer goods, has raised higher requirement on the marketing activities of merchants due to the keen competition, which contributes to the growth of package printing industry. In order to attract new customers, to expand the customer pool and to attain customer satisfaction, the demand for promotional purposes, including appealing labels and packaging for vendors to improve their marketing activities, is increasing in the market.

Development trends

. Green package printing

The concept of ‘‘Green Package Printing’’, where the standards of ‘‘Recycling, reusing, and reducing’’ are emphasized, is a future trend in correspondence with the growing popularity of ‘‘Green Package’’, or ‘‘Environmentally friendly Package’’, or ‘‘Ecological Package’’. There is a tendency that more green printing materials will be applied in the package printing industry, including low-VOC (Volatile Organic Chemical) inks, remanufactured printer cartridges, energy-efficient equipment, etc. with the purpose to save resources and to protect the environment.

. Rising trend of customization

With the speedup of replacement of consumer goods as well as the emergence of various startup companies in the packaging industry, personalized or customized package printing services to meet the need of small-quantity orders but with high level of product diversification are in increasing demand. This trend is likely strengthened in package printing industry in the future. It is expected that package printing players have to meet the packaging and labeling needs of many industries and offer multiple innovative customized service categories.

. Higher level of integration

The demand from clients has demonstrated both diversification and individualization. In order to satisfy different needs, there is a growing tendency that the package printing companies try to develop and offer comprehensive service along the supply chain instead of merely providing package printing products. In the coming years, the integrated service chain starting from the consultancy on printing to logistics service may become one main business model of the players, equipping the package printing industry with higher level of integration.

. Closer connection with the Internet

As the Internet fuels innovation and development, the integration of package printing with the Internet is supposed to become one future outlook, wherein cloud printing and Internet packaging are two main embodiments. With the help of the Internet, the package printing company is expected to greatly increase its operational efficiency, to lower the costs, to provide better personalized services and to meet diversified needs of clients. The internet drives the transformation of traditional printing industry and is expected to reshape the outlook of the market.