Digital Printing Packaging Market Sustainability Certification: Standards and Compliance

The packaging industry is undergoing a profound transformation with the advent of digital printing technologies. Digital printing offers unparalleled flexibility, customization, and cost-efficiency, revolutionizing the way packaging is produced and marketed. This article explores the burgeoning digital printing packaging market, analyzing key trends, drivers, and challenges shaping its growth trajectory. The global digital printing packaging market size is projected to grow from USD 29.4 billion in 2022 to USD 45.1 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 8.9% from 2022 to 2027. The growth of the digital printing packaging market is because of its ability to offer aesthetic appeal to packed products as most purchasing decisions are made at the point of sale.

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Unveiling the Growth Drivers:

✅ Customization and Personalization: Digital printing enables manufacturers to produce highly customized and personalized packaging solutions, catering to diverse consumer preferences and market demands. From variable data printing to on-demand packaging, digital technologies empower brands to create unique packaging designs, enhancing brand recognition and consumer engagement.

✅ Shorter Time-to-Market: Traditional printing methods often involve lengthy setup times and high production costs, limiting flexibility and agility in responding to market trends. Digital printing eliminates the need for costly setup processes, allowing for rapid prototyping and shorter production lead times. This accelerated time-to-market enables brands to launch products more quickly and efficiently, gaining a competitive edge in dynamic market environments.

✅ Cost-Efficiency and Waste Reduction: Digital printing offers cost advantages over conventional printing methods, particularly for small to medium print runs. With digital printing, there are no setup costs or minimum order requirements, allowing for cost-effective production of packaging materials. Additionally, the ability to print on-demand reduces excess inventory and minimizes waste, contributing to sustainability goals and environmental stewardship.

✅ Enhanced Brand Communication: Digital printing technologies enable brands to incorporate dynamic and interactive elements into packaging designs, such as QR codes, augmented reality (AR), and variable imagery. These interactive features create immersive brand experiences, fostering consumer engagement and brand loyalty. Moreover, digital printing facilitates real-time updates and localized content customization, enabling brands to adapt packaging messaging to specific target markets and promotional campaigns.

Digital Printing Packaging Market Opportunities and Trends:

◆ Expansion in Food and Beverage Packaging: The food and beverage industry represent significant growth opportunities for digital printing packaging, driven by the need for product differentiation, regulatory compliance, and consumer engagement. Brands are leveraging digital printing to create vibrant and visually appealing packaging designs that convey freshness, quality, and sustainability.

◆ Growth in E-commerce Packaging: The exponential growth of e-commerce has fueled demand for customized and on-demand packaging solutions tailored to the unique requirements of online retail. Digital printing enables e-commerce brands to create branded packaging experiences, enhance unboxing moments, and streamline logistics operations.

◆ Sustainability and Environmental Awareness: With increasing emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility, there is a growing demand for eco-friendly packaging solutions. Digital printing facilitates the use of water-based inks, recyclable substrates, and print-on-demand processes, aligning with sustainable packaging initiatives and circular economy principles.

◆ Technological Advancements and Innovation: Continuous advancements in digital printing technologies, such as inkjet and electrophotography, are driving innovation in the packaging industry. Improved print quality, color accuracy, and substrate compatibility are expanding the application scope of digital printing across various packaging segments, including labels, folding cartons, and flexible packaging.

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Challenges and Considerations:

 Initial Investment Costs: While digital printing offers long-term cost savings and operational efficiencies, the initial investment in equipment and infrastructure can be significant for some businesses. Careful evaluation of ROI, production volume, and market demand is essential to justify investment decisions and maximize returns.

 Print Quality and Color Consistency: Achieving consistent print quality and color accuracy is crucial in maintaining brand integrity and consumer perception. Variations in substrate characteristics, ink formulations, and printing conditions may pose challenges in achieving desired print results, necessitating rigorous quality control measures and color management protocols.

 Regulatory Compliance and Food Safety: Compliance with regulatory requirements, particularly in food packaging, is paramount to ensure product safety and consumer confidence. Digital printing inks and substrates must meet stringent regulatory standards for food contact materials, necessitating collaboration with trusted suppliers and adherence to industry best practices.

 Integration with Packaging Workflows: Seamless integration of digital printing technologies into existing packaging workflows and supply chain processes is essential for maximizing operational efficiency and minimizing disruptions. Collaboration with experienced vendors and service providers can facilitate smooth implementation and integration of digital printing solutions.

Digital Printing Packaging Market Segmentation

On the basis of printing inks:

  • Solvent-based
  • UV-based
  • Aqueous
  • Others

UV-based printing ink is the fastest growing market

UV-based inks are cured by exposure to strong UV light. These inks are pure solid systems and do not contain solvents. The lack of solvents offers environmental benefits, high speed, and faster turnaround time. The curing process takes place through the interaction of the ink ingredients and a strong UV light source in a dryer. They can be rapidly cured, thereby increasing the print speed and saving production time. UV-based inks include colorants in dye or pigment form. 

On the basis of printing technology:

  • Thermal transfer printing
  • Inkjet printing
  • Electrophotography & electrostatic printing
  • Others

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On the basis of format:

  • Full color printing
  • Variable data printing
  • Large format printing
  • Others

On the basis of packaging type:

  • Corrugated
  • Folding cartons
  • Flexible packaging
  • Labels
  • Others

Labels segment to be the largest packaging type in digital printing packaging market

Labels are high-quality, colored, custom digital stickers used for branding products. Digitally printed labels can be produced on various label materials such as paper and film. Labels can be used for displaying sequential barcodes and numbering, variable text, titles, or graphics and add substantial value to the product. Some benefits of digital labels include availability of vibrant colors, reduced packaging costs, and reduced turnaround time.

On the basis of end-use industry :

  • Food & beverage
  • Pharmaceuticals and healthcare
  • Household & cosmetic products
  • Others

Food & beverage to account for the largest market share

Digital printing packaging is used in the food industry for fresh food, meat, fish, seafood, fresh produce, poultry, and ready meals. With the increase in demand for convenience and quality food products, people opt for packaged foods.

The food & beverage industry requires packaging for the storage, handling, and transportation of products. Increase in demand for product differentiation and labeling to authenticate products drives the market growth for printing in the food & beverage packaging segment. To enhance the shelf appeal and salability of products, the demand for digital printing is expected to increase. As digital printing offers high print quality, color assortment, and print-on-demand facility, its demand in packaging is expected to increase. Digital printing packaging is estimated to experience high demand from the food & beverage industry, mainly because of the growing demand for packaged and branded products.

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On the basis of region:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
  • South America 

North America is the second-largest market for digital printing packaging

The North American market comprises the US, Canada, and Mexico. The US accounted for the largest share of the digital printing packaging market in North America in 2021 in terms of value. The market in this region is majorly driven by technological advancements in the packaging industry. Demand for digital printing packaging is expected to be driven by factors such as increasing sales of consumer durables, high disposable income, increasing demand for packaged foods, and demographic changes.

Digital Printing Packaging Market Key Players

📌 Huhtamaki (Finland)

📌 Constantia Flexibles (Austria)

📌 Quad/Graphics, Inc. (US)

📌 THIMM The Highpack Group (Germany)

📌 Printpack (US)

📌 DS Smith (UK)

📌 Smurfit Kappa (Ireland)

📌 Krones AG (Germany)

📌 CCL Industries Inc. (Canada)

📌 ePac Holdings, LLC. (US) 

DS Smith is a global leader in customer-specific packaging with an emphasis on cutting-edge packaging design and local service close to customer facilities. DS Smith meets every market requirement with a product portfolio that includes transit packaging, consumer packaging, displays and promotional packaging, customized protective packaging, and industrial packaging.

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The digital printing packaging market represents a transformative force in the packaging industry, offering unprecedented flexibility, customization, and sustainability. As brands seek to differentiate themselves in competitive markets and meet evolving consumer expectations, digital printing emerges as a versatile solution to drive innovation, enhance brand communication, and achieve sustainable packaging goals. By leveraging the opportunities presented by digital printing technologies and addressing key challenges, businesses can unlock new avenues for growth, profitability, and market leadership in the dynamic landscape of packaging.

Detailed TOC of Digital Printing Packaging Market Research Report

►  Introduction of the Digital Printing Packaging Market

  • Overview of the Market
  • Scope of Report
  • Assumptions

►  Executive Summary

►  Research Methodology of Market Reports

  • Data Mining
  • Validation
  • Primary Interviews
  • List of Data Sources

►  Extruded Plastics Market Outlook

  • Overview
  • Market Dynamics
  • Drivers
  • Restraints
  • Opportunities
  • Porters Five Force Model
  • Value Chain Analysis

►  Extruded Plastics Market, By Printing Inks

►  Extruded Plastics Market, By Printing Technology

►  Extruded Plastics Market, By Format

►  Extruded Plastics Market, By Packaging Type

►  Extruded Plastics Market, By End-use Industry

►  Extruded Plastics Market, By Geography

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Rest of the World

►  Extruded Plastics Market Competitive Landscape

  • Overview
  • Company Market Ranking
  • Key Development Strategies

►  Company Profiles

►  Appendix