Digital packaging report-Introduction

By PrintWeek Team, Wednesday 24 April 2013

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Welcome to our inaugural Digital packaging report. There's little doubt that the packaging sector has been remarkably - albeit perhaps unsurprisingly - resilient to the economic downturn.

More than that though, it's a market that has, with the exception of labels, been relatively slow to adopt digital technology.

The reason for this is simple: scalability. The volumes generally involved in packaging are massive, and right now, the unit costs of digitally produced packs just don’t stack up – even for what are probably classed as short runs in the world of packaging.

But with the predicted growth in versioned or even personalised packaging and the advent of new ‘heavyweight’ technology, digital is perfectly poised to start its next revolution.

Digital technology has had a massive, and generally positive, impact on the commercial and wide-format print sectors, so it’s inevitable that it will also represent a serious growth area in packaging. However, as illustrated in our survey, the jury is still out on the speed of the adoption and the true size of the market.

Some believe the opportunities lie] primarily in the world of business-to-consumer (B2C) or consumer-to-consumer (C2C) personalisation – hopefully replicating the dynamic growth of the photobook market in recent years. While for others it’s about the full-on industrialisation of just-in-time digital packaging.

Wherever the digital packaging opportunities lie, whether it’s with commercial printers targeting B2C or C2C or packaging powerhouses targeting industrial-scale applications – the word to remember is opportunity. Because in the lexicon of print, few words are more important.

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