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InfoTrends Releases Study on Opportunities for Color Digital Printing of Labels and Packaging

(Weymouth, MA) September 18, 2012...InfoTrends is pleased to announce the completion of a multi-client study entitled What Do Converters Want? This study provides technology vendors with a better understanding of what label, flexible packaging, and folding carton converters think about the color printing and related technology that they use now, and what they want from color print technology in the future. “Our survey of 228 converters shows that color digital printing aligns well with the basic wishes of label and packaging converters,” said Bob Leahey, Associate Director for InfoTrends’ Color Digital Label and Packaging Service. “We also found the interest in digital print options to be just as high among flexible packaging and folding carton converters as it is among label converters.” Leahey added that this finding was unexpected, since color digital printing is much better known among label converters.

InfoTrends estimates that 2011 billings from three types of converters for color digital printing totaled $2.75 billion globally, and forecasts it at over $5.0 billion by the end of 2016. In spite of its success, color digital printing still has low penetration of the total labels and packaging market—less than 10% of color labels for consumer goods and less than 1% of folding cartons and flexible packaging are now printed digitally.  Meanwhile, digital print technology meets key requirements, especially for printing runs less than 10,000 linear feet, which today are about half of all label and packaging print jobs.

One reason that there is low penetration of labels and packaging is that there is a lack of education on the benefits of digital printing. “Color digital presses are not well known among folding carton and flexible packaging converters,” says Leahey. “Webinars, trade show presence, conference presentations, and regional information sessions for converters and for key brand owners are all possible means to achieve this end.”  Vendors should also tend to new channels for information and education, such as user groups, web-based video, and social media.

InfoTrends believes that the strong majority of physical volume of print in label, folding carton, and flexible packaging printing will continue to be printed by analog presses for at least the next ten years. In that interval, though, color digital presses will continue to increase their role and their share of physical volume. In folding carton and flexible packaging printing – where color digital presses now have only a tiny role – color digital presses  will be  working in tandem with conventional presses, as they do now in the label converting industry.

InfoTrends’ What Do Converters Want? provides insight on critical issues including:

  • Converters’ pain points with both color digital and analog printing
  • Technologies used now, as well as ones they either plan to buy or have rejected
  • Awareness of key vendors of color digital hardware and software
  • Enhancements converters want most from color digital presses and printers
  • Related products they want, such as finishing lines and workflow software.

This report is available immediately for purchase. For more information, please visit the InfoTrends website or contact Scott Phinney at + 1 781 616 2123 or

InfoTrends is the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the imaging, document solutions, production print, and digital media industries. We provide insights and advice to help clients understand market trends, identify opportunities, and grow their business. Additional information about InfoTrends is available on the Web at

Copyright 2012 InfoTrends. All rights reserved. Reproduction or reuse of InfoTrends materials is prohibited without prior written consent.

For media inquiries contact Donna O'Malley at +1 781 616 2116 or


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