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Investments in Color Label Printing Market Driven by Emerging Retail and Logistics Applications, According to VDC Research
External Regulatory and Compliance Factors to Fuel Greater Demand
NATICK, MA | December 8, 2016 - Intensifying competition and stringent regulatory compliance and identification requirements across industries have given rise to a growing demand for multi-colored labels, according to a new report by VDC Research (click here for more information). Color label solutions, including pre-printed labels and on-demand color label printers, help with product classification/recognition, color coding, issuing safety warnings, branding, and overall signage enhancement, among other applications. VDC found that as per-label printing costs on on-demand color label printers decline and become more manageable, enterprise interest levels in color labels are expected to rise, especially given the added benefit of enhanced customer engagement, improved aesthetics.
According to VDC, 61% of surveyed end users with existing color labeling requirements indicate a preference for pre-printed color label stock over on-demand color printer hardware and consumables. “While this balance between pre-printed labels and on-demand printers is not expected to shift substantially, the costs surrounding wasted pre-printed label stock should not be underestimated,” said Shahroze Husain, Research Associate, AutoID and Data Capture at VDC. “On average, 9.3% of pre-printed stock is wasted or discarded, which represents an estimated budget expenditure of $12,000 from organizations. Nevertheless, the market is not likely to quickly shift to on-demand color label printers due to higher perceived total cost of ownership and limited color labeling volume.”
VDC found that inkjet and laser technologies are currently the most popular investments for on-demand color label printers. Thermal printer vendors have been hesitant in investing in color solutions because of the associated engineering costs and complexities. Furthermore, the market size for these types of products is minimal when compared to broader labeling opportunities, thus detracting resellers from investing.
The competitive landscape addressing this opportunity is devoid of leading players from the thermal barcode label printer market. This means that vendors such as Honeywell, SATO, Toshiba TEC, and Zebra Technologies have all chosen to sit out on servicing the needs of enterprises with on-demand color labeling requirements. Instead, they offer support for printing on pre-printed color label material or even printing on specialty label stock like with Zebra’s IQ Color direct thermal ink technology. Epson dominates the on-demand color label printing opportunity with its inkjet-based ColorWorks® line of printers. Other vendors like cab Produkttechnik and Brady Corporation are taking a varied approach to support on-demand color labeling with thermal transfer technology.
Despite favoring pre-printed label stock in the short-term, VDC’s primary research indicates that organizations plan to invest more in on-demand color labeling solutions going forward. Vendors 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. “Looking to the future, the leading application needs that will drive growth include compliance labels, label creation for easier visual product identification in manufacturing and transportation, product image printing for identification in retail, and shipping label printing in distribution,” said Husain.
Click here for more information on this research.
About VDC Research
Founded in 1971, VDC Research provides in-depth insights to technology vendors, end users, and investors across the globe. As a market research and consulting firm, VDC’s coverage of AutoID, enterprise mobility, industrial automation, and IoT and embedded technologies is among the most advanced in the industry, helping our clients make critical decisions with confidence. Offering syndicated reports and custom consultation, our methodologies consistently provide accurate forecasts and unmatched thought leadership for deeply technical markets. Located in Natick, Massachusetts, VDC prides itself on its close personal relationships with clients, delivering an attention to detail and a unique perspective that is second to none.