5 Emerging Label and Packaging Industry Trends for 2023

As we prepare for a new year on the horizon, our focus naturally begins to shift toward the new trends and other big changes that will influence the label and packaging industry in 2023—and, more importantly, how those trends will impact our businesses.

Here are five emerging label and packaging industry trends that you can expect to see in 2023:

1. Sustainable, Eco-Conscious Label Solutions

Over the past few years, sustainability has become a buzz word across nearly every industry, and there is a huge demand for it among eco-conscious consumers. As brands increasingly make the shift toward more sustainable solutions, this trend has driven greater innovation across the sector.

When it comes to labels in particular, embracing a circular economy can make your products more appealing to consumers. This is driving a rise in the development of “green” label solutions and more sustainable processes for manufacturing and packaging those products. Some of the eco-friendly products that will continue to grow in popularity include:

  • Biodegradable and compostable labels
  • Labels made from 100% recycled materials and plastics
  • Linerless labels
  • Thinner material labels
  • Recyclable FSC-certified labels
  • Recyclable PET labels

2. E-Commerce Continues to Grow

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a continuous increase in demand for e-commerce, with e-commerce packaging volumes up by approximately 40% since 2019. In fact, some report that COVID-19 has accelerated e-commerce by five years!

From basic household needs such as groceries and pharmaceuticals to health and beauty products, holiday shopping and more, online purchases have only continued to rapidly evolve. With consumers being able to place orders with the click of a button, labels for e-commerce goods are in high demand, and it doesn’t look like this trend is disappearing anytime soon.

As a result, companies will continue to search for unique and durable labels as we head into 2023. Plus, shipment security and tracking elements will continue to be a must as data collection and other value-added services help retailers and consumers benefit from technological advancements.

3. Digital Printing Provides Versatility

When it comes to labels, two common printing methods are flexographic printing and digital printing. Digital printing has been on the rise recently, and for a good reason. It offers the ability to send artwork directly from a computer to the printing press with a convenient digital file. A perfect solution for companies that want to print variable data labels, this printing method allows for more streamlined printing of varying logos, designs, colors and information.

Due to its versatility, digital printing allows for a quick turnaround time and keeps setup costs low. This is particularly beneficial for e-commerce labels that require fast-paced production. Plus, compared to traditional printing, digital printing is far more sustainable since it requires less energy and minimizes waste.

Over this next year, the use of digital printing will see a significant increase, especially as inkjet technology evolves and becomes more mainstream. This will be useful for many industries that require flexibility and customization with printing labels, including the automobile and transportation industry. For example, when tire specifications change on a short notice or tires require pigmented inks that are best for tough environments like outdoor storage, inkjet technology will be beneficial for tire labels.

4. Personalization Drives Demand for Custom Labels

Similar to digital printing technology, personalization with printing will likely continue to see significant growth in 2023 and beyond. The reason? Generic labeling is a thing of the past. As consumers continue to drive label personalization, we are seeing an increased demand for personalized products, services, experiences, labels and packaging and solutions. This customization can be used to:

  • Differentiate between similar products
  • More effectively manage customer data
  • Create a more unique brand experience

Custom labels are beneficial to both companies and consumers alike. Ultimately, personalization can help brands communicate with customers, promote brand awareness and work as a marketing tool for boosting sales. With e-commerce growing, and fewer in-person brand experiences, a personalized approach is the way to go.

5. Automation Leads to More Efficient Processes

Over the past few years, widespread labor shortages and supply chain issues have prompted companies to look for more ways to drive operational efficiencies and increase productivity. For example, ribbon suppliers like ARMOR-IIMAK have incorporated robotics into their production lines to help maintain inventory levels during the pandemic.

With fewer errors and faster turnaround times, automation – or semi-automation – will be the way of the future. This will also lead to more cost-saving processes, while maintaining printing quality. At this point, most label printers have some level of automation, so it’s no surprise that automation will continue to be a big trend that we will see across the label and packaging industry in 2023.

Want to Incorporate These Trends into Your Label and Packaging Solutions?

Contact our customer service team at (866) 516-7300 or