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The Global Smart Label Market size was USD 3.93 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 13.91 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 17.3% during the forecast period.
The global Smart Label Market holds a fascinating growth opportunity where a remarkable CAGR of 17.3% is expected in the coming year. This is attributable to the reductions in the tag cost and substantial application areas utilizing advanced technologies such as RFID, NFC, and others. The proliferation of internet has given a substantial power in the hands of consumers. Mobile devices are acting as a hybrid channel by allowing the customers to interact through apps, QR codes or beacons.
Intelligent label production brings new requirements for the manufacturing process, such as functional or performance testing, to manage the RFID label quality and encoding capability to store customer-specific data in each label. These capabilities could be integrated into converting machines or either create value-add service opportunities. These labels can be the entry point to the label value chain for a traditional label printing company with increased profits and turnovers.
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The 2016 Label Insight Transparency ROI study states that 39.0% of the customers say that they would switch to a new brand if full product information transparency is offered, and 56% of customers say that they would be loyal customers to the brand if complete transparency is provided. These statistics show that transparency about the product information influences customer behavior. Hence, smart label initiative is an excellent market opportunity for brands to ensure the transparency the customers seek.
Using Smart Labels to Reduce Food Waste and Improve Food Safety is a Key Trend Shaping the Market
Referring to IOF2020 newsletter, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted each year. These labels can help to decrease the food waste by tracing the freshness of the product and give customers and suppliers visibility of the information. As a result, steps can be taken to avoid wastage of food.
Smart labels food packaging is being adopted on a large scale by the manufacturers. The increasing interest of customers towards the ethical credentials, and health benefits of food and drinks is a growing market trend. The smart labels enhanced capacity for information allows more data to be presented about the health and ethics of food and beverages.
For instance, smart labels can include product provenance. Every single step of the foods process from farm to fork, recipes, as well as monitoring foods freshness adds significant value for the customers. Further, intelligent labeling can be incorporated as security tags helping the supermarkets or other stores to reduce theft.
Rising Adoption of NFC Technology is an Emerging Market Trend
The cost of smart labels has been the most essential factor, especially when the market is at its beginning stage. According to a report published by Thinfilm Electronics, adoption of intelligent labels is growing steadily. Using a smartphone to use the NFC tags and interact with the product is still new in the market.
Further, the NFC solutions are becoming increasingly available in this market, which is likely to drive the adoption rate of these labels. For instance, in addition to the android smartphones, Apple extended its NFC functionalities beyond Apple Pay with the release of iOS 11. iPhone 7 and the new android models exhibit the capability to read the NFC tags.
Mandatory Federal Laws on Disclosure of Product Information Are Expected to Augment the Market Growth
A smart label is a tool, for agreement with the federal disclosure law for genetically modified organisms (GMO) that was passed by the U.S. government. This federal law demands the brands to disclose the product information in any of the three ways, including text on a package, a symbol, or through a digital link such as a smart label. Digital disclosures enable the customers to gain more information about the product than a text or symbol.
The increasing adoption of digital services mainly compels the development of the global market due to the rising demand for reliable anti-theft devices and product identification. Furthermore, growing business mergers and acquisitions & rising technological advancements of intelligent products are expected to stimulate the growth of the market.
Research and Development in Nanotechnology is Likely to Drive the Adoption of Smart Labels
Nanotechnology is a study of synthesis, design, creation, application, and manipulation of devices, materials, and systems by exploiting and controlling the properties and phenomena of matter on a microscopic scale in few nanometers. The advances in Smart Label Market are expected to be dependent on the developments of nanoparticles and nanomaterial.
Nanotechnology enables the application of Nano sensors in the food and packaging industry to control the quality of the product during various logistics processes and ensure the quality of the product to the end-user. Nanotechnology, through Internet protocol, can help in providing asset tracking, authentication, and locating product features to prevent a diversity of product intended for a specific market. However, the adoption of nanotechnology depends on the market and the geographical location of the regions. For instance, consumers in the Asia Pacific are willing to accept new technologies whereas consumers in the Middle East and Africa are less responsive.
High Cost of Devices in Smart Label Printing is Likely to Restrict the Market Growth
One of the primary restraints identified is lack of investments of traditional label printing companies in digital printing services. Traditional players in the market are still lacking to invest into advanced systems due to high cost associated with it.
However, the traditional label printing companies have low barrier to enter into the market as their core business involves converting and printing the label or tag. By adding inlay lamination or inlay insertion to the converting process will increase the smart labels manufacturers value add services and enable the manufacturer to meet the RFID and IoT requirements of the end-user.
Near Field Communication Would Ensure to Exhibit a Remarkable Growth Rate in The Market
Technology has been categorized into electronic article surveillance (EAS), RFID, near field communication (NFC), and QR code in the scope of this study.
RFID is the leading technology in digital labels and RFID labels are used to satisfy most of the requirements in the industries. The substantial volumes of intelligent labels are generally produced by the key players in the RFID industry that is either converters, inlay or tag manufacturers. However, there are also several label manufacturers focusing on particular labels and applications. For instance, Thinfilm specifically develops NFC smart labels.
NFC tags play a crucial role in the pharmaceutical industry. NFC enable customers and pharmacists to authenticate the product. Further, Diageo plc, owner of scotch whiskey brand Johnnie Walker has integrated the NFC technology with a sample model, namely Johnnie walker blue label “smart bottle.” The NFC technology enables Diageo to track bottle movements in-store, and across the supply chain. The NFC labels are readable even when the factory seal is broken. These advanced capabilities of the NFC technology would ensure to expand the market in near future.
A major difference between the traditional barcode and QR code is that the conventional barcode has the 20-character capacity, whereas QR code has 7,000-character capacity. Despite the information, it is easier for machines to read the QR codes. There is a built-in QR code reader in all smartphones. Hence, the smartphone users could easily benefit from the extra information which can be added to the food or drink product without downloading any application. This creates new opportunities for food producers and marketers to implement QR code to add extra value to the end-user, such as nutritional information, recipe ideas and others.
Sensing labels are on a nascent stage. Some food and beverage manufacturers in North America are implementing sensing labels in their products. For instance, Paksense leverages an ultra-contact label platform that provides a temperature monitoring label that could be integrated with the product packing before shipping. An LED light blinks when the optimal temperature is breached and enables quick decision making.
Retail Industry is Expected to Have a Remarkable Growth During the Forecast Period
By end-user the market has been classified into retail, food and beverages, healthcare & pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, supply chain and logistics, transportation, and others.
The global retail landscape is evolving every day where innovations and convergence in e-commerce and m-commerce are forcing retailers to rethink about the innovation, and product. Retail Industry has been transforming from the last few years to utilize RFID technology and counts it for the highest number of labels and tags volumes until today. This label technology has enabled retailers to integrate customer experience in the Omni channel environment, enhance customer interaction and implement anti-counterfeiting measures. These factors drive the demand for intelligent label’s in the retail industry.
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For instance, FishPeople, a company based in America, leverages smart labels to show the customers where the fish was trapped, on which ship, and sometimes also displays the name of the captain of the ship. This makes the product stand out as the customers get to experience the story of the fish exhibiting the power of smart labels.
Rising implementation of RFID, NFC tags in the food and beverage products is likely to expand the Smart Label Market growth during the forecast period. Interaction and satisfaction of customers are some of the essential factors that contribute to the deployment of digital solutions in the industry. For example, Heinz uses AR-based applications to allow users to unlock a secret recipe book by accessing the smart label printed on the product through their smartphones.
Smart labels like the e-paper display from Faubel, a print paper, and the foil processing industry are a workable substitute to paper-based labels for recyclable bin and container pools used in the pharmaceutical supply chain industry. Smart labels are more than a labor-saving device for shippers. They can be dynamically updated during the logistics process, to display the next target in the supply chain, for instance, to record important events noticed by sensors such as physical currents and temperature deviations.
Geographically, the global Smart Label Market has been analyzed across five major regions North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.
North America Smart Label Market is expected to dominate in terms of revenue generation. Smart labels are mainly aimed at providing digital access to the information in reduced time. As mentioned in a whitepaper published in 2017 by consumer goods forum, more than 300 million people in the U.S. have internet access. Whereas by 2018, smartphone ownership is expected to reach up to 80%, and 89% of consumers use search engines for purchase decisions. This shows that there is exponential growth for the market in North America. Apple’s updated operating system, iOS 11, offers iPhone cameras a built-in ability to read QR codes.
North America Smart Label Market Size, 2018 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific Smart Label Market is expected to facilitate a remarkable CAGR during the forecast period. Mandatory government rules and laws on the labeling of the product is likely to drive the demand for intelligent labels across the region. For instance, the Japanese diet established a comprehensive food labeling law in 2013. The law mandates allergen information and nutritional labeling on all pre-packaged food products. As a result, manufacturers have started incorporating intelligent labels such as QR code on the packed foods.
Europe Smart Label Market is expected to have a moderate market growth during the forecast period. On the contrary, Europe holds the major revenue share, followed by North America. Stringent government laws and regulations primarily drive Europe market. The Middle East and Africa Smart Label Market is expected to have a steady market growth due to constant packaging standards. Similarly, Latin America is expected to have steady growth during the forecast period.
Mergers, Partnerships, and Acquisitions are the Key Strategies Adopted by Smartrac to Strengthen its Market Position
November 2019 - Smartrac announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Avery Dennison Corporation to sell its RFID transponder division. As per this agreement, Smartrac’s RFID tags and inlays business will supplement Avery Dennison’s intelligent labels platform, enhance the R&D processes, and increase the RFID offerings for a comprehensive variety of applications. This agreement will also provide the opportunity to expand the market size and accelerate RFID growth opportunities for Avery Dennison.
October 2019 - Smartrac and Sensthys Inc., a company that integrates communications and sensors with high-efficiency networking platforms, have stepped into a partnership to provide a novelty RFID- based moisture, location, and temperature sensing solution for facilities management. The sensing inlays are integrated using Sensthy's solution to monitor and keep track of the physical state of the product at the construction site and manufacturing facilities.
Mergers and acquisitions activities are likely to expand the market size. In the current scenario players are focusing on strategic partnership and mergers to expand the market growth and strengthen the market position. For instance, in December 2019, through a partnership with Impinj, provider of RAIN RFID solutions, Checkpoint Systems launched inlays incorporated with the Impinj M700 tag chip portfolio. Checkpoint is expected to launch six inlays which would have a significant read distance and a more coverage area. The UNO tag will be a combination of RAIN RFID and RF EAS technologies to enhance supply chain visibility and theft prevention.
The global Smart Label Market is expected to have exponential growth during the forecast period. The government in the specific regions are taking active initiatives by imposing laws and regulations on the transparency of the product information. As a result, all the manufacturers must provide detail information about the product to the consumers. Hence this is likely to upsurge the demand for intelligent labels as they are way- efficient in terms of cost and accessibility for the consumers and the manufacturers as well.
The report provides detailed information regarding various insights of the market. Some of them are growth drivers, restraints, competitive landscape, regional analysis, and challenges. It further offers an analytical depiction of the market trends and estimations to illustrate the forthcoming investment pockets. The market is quantitatively analyzed from 2019 to 2026 to provide the financial competency of the market. The information gathered in the report has been taken from several primary and secondary sources.
An Infographic Representation of Smart Label Market
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2015 – 2026
2019 – 2026
2015 – 2017
Value (USD billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the market value stood at USD 3.93 billion in 2018
By 2026, the market is expected to be valued at USD 13.91 billion
Moderate growth at 17.3% CAGR is expected for the market in the forecast period (2019-2026)
The market is anticipated to have an exponential market growth, and its value stood at USD 3.93 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach up to 13.91 billion till 2026
Within the end-user segment, Retail and food and beverages segments are expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period
Mandatory federal laws on disclosure of product information are expected to augment the market growth during the forecast period
Advantech U.S., Smartrac N.V., and Checkpoint Systems, Inc. are some of the key providers in the market offering a wide range of products that helps to enhance the market growth
The Near Field communication segment is expected to grow significantly at the highest CAGR owing to high efficiency and easy implementation
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