The new dynamic behind wet-glue labels
It is correct that there has been a shift from wet-glue labels to self-adhesive labels in the last 10-15 years and self-adhesive labels still have the nose ahead in some areas. However, some parameters have changed in the last two years and wet-glue labels are gaining momentum and, in view of the new rules of the game, will in future appear more brilliantly on stage than ever before.
But let’s first take a look at the last 8 years. Let’s look at the most mature market in Europe.
Eight years ago, wet-glue labels had a 34,7% share of the total label market in terms of technology and PSL had a 41,8% share. In 2012, measured in millions of m², PSL had 5.77 million m² and wet glue labels had 4.790 million m².
In 2018 the whole thing looked a little different. Here, wet glue only had a technological share of 31% compared to 47% PSL. Again in terms of surface area, 7.350 million m² for PSL and 4.844 million m² for wet glue labels.
Although this means that wet glue had lost market share in 2012-2018, the market still grew – albeit only slightly.
However, some special developments have taken place in the last two years. And here the entire supply chain plays a very special role. It is therefore worth taking a look at the market for wet-glue labeling machines.
The equipment industry expects a CAGR of 5.4% growth in the period 2020-2025 for new wet-glue labeling machines.
On the one hand, there have been noticeable improvements in wet glue labelling machines, such as greater precision in labelling and at the same time a reduction in work processes and costs. This is one of the drivers and motors towards the wet glue label. In some cases, glue consumption has been reduced by 30-50%. At the same time, it is now possible to score points with less label waste. The substrates (paper) score points with higher tensile strength at a lighter weight per square meter, higher stiffness and therefore minimal curling, tearing, flagging and wrinkling.
The labelling speed of wet glue labels will continue to be unrivalled and competitive. For long runs and high speeds – in other words, economies of scale play a role here – wet-glue labels are still the best choice and will remain so in the near future.
Because an essential point has been added. The aspect of sustainability. You can twist and turn it however you like. If you design the entire chain carefully, wet-glue labels have a better ecological footprint. Based on facts and figures and not rule of thumb. Especially for reusable containers. And we have a strong trend towards reusable containers. Especially for glass bottles. And this is the playing field of wet-glue labels. Some brand owners are experiencing a rapid decline in one-way containers and annual growth rates of 10% per year for reusable containers. According to Nielsen, reusable glass containers have increased by 6% within one year.
In Germany, for example, the GfK data for non-alcoholic beverages (AfG) show a clear trend towards significant growth in the proportion of reusable beverages (2019: 24.2%, 2018: 23.1%). Correspondingly, the proportion of disposable beverages is declining (2019: 75.8%, 2018: 76.9%). This development was already indicated in 2018, but is now gaining momentum.
All this speaks for wet-glue labels
The printing press industry has always kept a close eye on these developments, and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, for example, will be presenting a series of innovations and a WET GLUE SPECIAL at Innovation Weeks from October 19-21, 2020. It’s worth taking part!