Industrial Color Label Printing: External regulatory and compliance factors to fuel greater demand towards on-demand solutions

by Shahroze Husain | 12/06/2016

VDC recently published a report focused on Industrial Color Label Printing Solutions. The following blog highlights some of our thoughts on this market and its potential.

Vendors today can no longer rely on brand recognition and product quality alone to achieve profitability targets and with increased levels of market maturity, it is driving interest in/opportunities around various types of unique functionality and design innovations. One such segment is the color label printer market, a functionality that remains a small/niche market with few players where external regulatory and compliance factors are driving opportunity.

Until recently, the interest in color label solutions has been largely focused on helping chemicals manufacturers meet stringent GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) labeling compliance requirements that has generated high demand for color label printing on wide-format printers. However, recent survey data has shown that alternative applications in manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail/e-commerce, wholesale and distribution are drawing greater opportunity for in printing shipping labels, product labels, and branding labels. In these applications, it is now important for hardware vendors to seek out opportunities that they can address with on-demand color printer hardware.

Industrial Color Label Printing Solutions: External regulatory and compliance factors to fuel greater demand towards on-demand solutions

Currently, the functionality is being approached in two ways: pre-printed label stock and on demand printer hardware. 61% of end users with existing color labeling requirements surveyed indicate a preference for pre-printed color label stock over on-demand color printer hardware and consumables. While this balance is not expected to shift substantially, the costs surrounding wasted pre-printed label stock should not be underestimated. On average, 9.3% of pre-printed stock is wasted or discarded, representing an estimated budget hit of $12,000 to organizations.

Despite a wide number of respondents deploying pre-printed label stock over on-demand solutions today, respondents expect to grow their installed base of color label printers by as much as 31% as well as increase media expenditure for color label printing applications (pre-printed labels and on-demand color) to support expanding color labeling applications in 2017. Drivers include applications such as compliance labels, label creation for easier visual product identification, product image printing for identification and shipping label printing. VDC believes it is imperative for hardware vendors competing in this space to highlight the opportunity and target market expansion that color labeling offers in order to drive interest and sales.  

For more information and insights about the Industrial Color Label Printer Market, please feel free to download the Executive Brief to our report or contact us to learn how to gain access to the full report at

(Written with Sean Kennedy, Research Assistant)

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