20 June 2024

North American market navigates key challenges

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The label and packaging market in North America has seen significant growth in recent years, driven by various factors such as the post-pandemic boom in e-commerce, technological advancements and shifting consumer preferences. Research shows the market is poised for further expansion.
The North American print label market, estimated at 9.8 billion USD in 2024, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.5 percent to reach 11.7 billion USD by 2029, according to research from Mordor Intelligence. Yet key challenges loom ahead.
Economic constraints and higher costs are churning challenges for the industry. This is met by depressed M&A activity amid high-interest rates as converters aim to automate, spurred both by labor shortages and innovation within the sector.
Last year saw the market softening, as converters described in the state of the industry in the 2023 TLMI Market Watch report. The biggest market force impacting converters was customers scaling back-order volumes. In 2024, label converters and suppliers in North America are still dealing with lingering uncertainty.
‘The struggle to balance supply and demand is a key concern as companies try to align their inventory levels and cost of goods sold with fluctuating demand,’ says Jennifer Dochstader, principal of industry research and marketing firm LPC. ‘The majority of label buyers and brands have made their way through the excess inventory levels that were a result of supply chain disruptions and shortages. However, there remains uncertainty about when the high-volume orders will return as converters continue to see an influx of smaller orders and less predictable order patterns.’ Compounding that equation is the woes of the modern-day workforce.
“We’ve been talking about workforce challenges with converters for more than a decade and we have never seen this issue as acute as it is currently”.
Like other industries, the labeling and printing world is struggling to fill vacancies as specialist veterans age out of the market at an unprecedented rate. ‘Retaining and hiring quality labor remains front-of-mind for converters,’ Dochstader says.
For the full Labels & Labeling article click here.


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