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Packaging takes one third

It doesn’t take me to tell you that whether you like it or not packaging has become an important part of all our modern lives. Or that printed packaging both sells the product contained and informs the user about those contents, meeting the legal requirements of the producer.

However, I am sure many of you will be staggered to learn just how much that print is worth. On my visit to Comexi recently (see our feature this month) I was told that about one third of the worldwide annual printing market volume of $750,000M is now held by printed packaging materials. And that $250,000 market is growing. By comparison the segment held by printed books is ‘only’ $10,000M!

No small wonder then that the Spanish group is widening its offering both in products, companies and geographical spread. And it has decided to hide its light under a bushel no longer.

When it took the decision to grow through strategic partnerships in order to enable it to be in the running when it came to serving a converting market increasingly dominated by around 10 global majors, it was a strategy designed to keep it as a family owned concern.

Comexi was founded in 1954 – the same year that polypropylene was discovered as an alternative to cellulose film. Ever since then the company founder and chairman, Manel B Xifra, has steadfastly identified the flexible packaging business as an important part of his long term vision. Now he sees cartonboard as another interesting market for flexo printing.

Of the $275,000M packaging print market $65,790M is accounted for by flexibles. It is no small wonder that the world of print and its suppliers are taking a keener look towards what has previously been excluded from commercial print and the graphic arts. And expect to see much greater emphasis on converting of packaging than in the past at worldwide printing exhibitions.