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Study examines digital print take-up

What Do Converters Want?, a new multi-client study by US-based InfoTrends, offers a better understanding of what label, flexible packaging, and folding carton converters think about the colour printing and related technology they use now – and what they want from colour print technology in the future.

“Our survey of 228 converters shows that colour digital printing aligns well with the basic wishes of label and packaging converters,” says 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.” He adds that this finding was unexpected, since colour digital printing is much better known among label converters.

InfoTrends estimates that 2011 billings from three types of converters for colour 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, colour digital printing still has low penetration of the total labels and packaging market—less than 10% of colour labels for consumer goods and less than 1% of folding cartons and flexible packaging are now printed digitally.

According to Infotrends, one reason for this is that there is a lack of education on the benefits of digital printing. “Colour 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.”

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