13th Edition

Featuring 70 tables and 55 figures – now available in Excel and Powerpoint! Learn More


This study analyzes the United States market for labels. In the context of this report, a label is defined as any material adhered to an object to indicate contents, pricing, ownership, directions, destinations, ratings, warnings, or other information. Decorative decalcomanias (decals) and stickers are also included.

Labels are evaluated by application method:

  • pressure sensitive
  • glue-applied
  • heat-shrink and stretch sleeve
  • in-mold (via blow molding, injection molding, thermoforming)
  • heat transfer
  • other application methods, including non-shrink wraparound, heat-seal, gummed, and foam

Demand is also segmented by stock material:

  • paper (including roll-fed, sheet, and decal forms)
  • plastic
    • polyethylene (e.g., low density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene)
    • polypropylene (e.g., oriented polypropylene)
    • polyvinyl chloride
    • other plastics (e.g., acetates, synthetic papers, spunbonded polyolefins, polyimide)
  • other label materials, such as foil, ceramic, and stainless steel)

Furthermore, demand is analyzed by market:

  • primary packaging
    • food
    • beverages
    • pharmaceuticals
    • cosmetics and toiletries
    • other primary packaging (e.g., automotive chemicals, household cleaning chemicals, medical devices, apparel and textiles, lawn and garden production, paper and plastic products, sporting goods, tobacco, toys)
  • secondary packaging (including retail, institutional, transportation, and distribution sectors)
  • industrial
  • mailing and shipping
  • decorative
  • consumer and institutional

Finally, printed label demand is analyzed by printing technology:

  • flexographic
  • lithographic
  • digital
  • screen
  • gravure
  • letterpress

Excluded from the study are:

  • adhesive notes (e.g., 3M’s Post-it notes)
  • adhesive-backed envelopes
  • cloth and woven labels (e.g., garment labels)
  • decorative pressure sensitive tapes
  • graphic films
  • EAS tags (although the labels used in conjunction with EAS tags are covered)
  • label/form combinations
  • labels printed directly onto containers without the use of an intervening substrate
  • postage stamps issued by the US Postal Service (however, blank labels for postage meters and online purchases of postage are included)
  • rigid metal labels
  • tags
  • unprinted shrink neckbands

Historical data for 2010, 2015, and 2020 and forecasts for 2025 and 2030 are presented in current US dollars at the manufacturers’ level (which are not adjusted to account for inflation).

Back to Top