FINAT RADAR

The FINAT RADAR provides a convenient and up to date ‘radar screen’ to monitor trends and developments relevant to the European label and narrow web business. Each edition of the report carries the results of a number of parallel surveys covering different segments of our industry’s value chain.

Core of the report is the state of business in label conversion, and for this purpose an online survey is carried out amongst converter members. Parallel to the converter survey, LPC conducts a survey amongst a representative sample group of brand owners and end-users of labels and narrow web solutions.

Additionally, each report contains an overview of trends and developments per region in the demand for self-adhesive materials as well as equipment installations, as indicators of consumption and investment inside the industry. Finally, the closing chapter of the RADAR is always dedicated to a topic of special interest.

The FINAT RADAR offers you a full 360˚ scan of the industry and its markets.

The statistics are produced by market research agency LPC, in collaboration with the Industry Trends Subcommittee chaired by Ferdi Rüesch and supported by our Managing Director Jules Lejeune.

Highlights latest RADAR editions

During the European Label Forum in June, the latest findings of FINAT RADAR are presented. Members can download the proceedings or watch the recordings of these presentations. As #16 is now available to members, please find below the highlights of #14 and #15.

FINAT Radar #14 (Brand-owner perspective - survey release December 2020)

2020 has tested the resilience of the global economy unlike any other event in recent history. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the European Commission has lowered its forecast for the economic rebound from the pandemic and currently predicts that the economy may not return to pre-virus levels until 2023. However, the label industry perseveres, and in some end-use segments it is even thriving. Results from the Brand Owner Survey (response from 70 brand-owners and packaging buyers) indicate that printed packaging buyers predict stable growth for their label procurement volumes in 2021. Seventy-four percent of participants indicated that their label sourcing volumes will increase in the coming year.

However, the survey also revealed shifting priorities in light of the pandemic, including a heightened interest in ensuring that supply chains are resilient to shocks. In the pre-pandemic autumn of 2019, just 7% of survey participants said that it was important that label vendors have more than one production facility. At the end of 2020, the same figure had increased to 25%.

The second major indicator of this trend is the surge of interest in the flexibility of digital label presses. Even during the height of lockdown, just 7% of companies reduced digital label spend. At the end of 2020, one in three companies specifically identified events in 2020 as the motivation for sourcing more digitally printed labels, owing to the advantages of shorter lead times and greater assurance of supply chain availability that the technology enables.

The shift to digital is not necessarily entirely shaped by recent events, however, as the survey also reveals other factors that are driving the changes, with the top reasons identified as the ability to print small run sizes as well as improved turnaround time.

Beyond the pandemic, the survey also reveals a strong continued interest from buyers in maintaining environmental credentials. 75% of companies say that environmental certification is either ‘important’ or ‘critical’, particularly in food, beverage, health & beauty, and pharmaceutical verticals.

FINAT Radar #15 (Label converter perspective – survey release July 2021)

During an online preview prepared for the European Label Forum in June, LPC’s Jennifer Dochstader summarised the general picture emerging from the latest converter survey carried out in the spring (response: 80 companies): “The events of the past eighteen months have changed us. We have had to be more resilient, more innovative and more agile than ever before. Overall, our industry has ridden out the storm extremely well. Many companies are moving forward with a renewed focus on supply chain efficiencies and sustainability. However, we are also having to navigate the lingering uncertainty of the year ahead and what it may bring in terms of the pandemic, raw material supply availability, inflationary pressures and shifts in the workforce.

Jennifer Dochstader concludes: “As researchers, we can say that 2021 looks to be a year of robust capital equipment purchasing, continued supply chain tensions and a slow but steady recovery in most of Europe. The pandemic represented a global shock of historic proportions. Yet we have emerged from that shock realising just how adaptable and essential our industry is; and as this industry navigates its course moving forward, we have no doubt that it will be more resilient, more sustainable and more agile than ever before.”