In-Mold Labels Global Market Report 2022: 3D In-Mold Technology Gains Prominence and Presents Opportunities

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Dublin, March 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "In-Mold Labels Market Size, Share, Trends, By Technology, By Material, By End-Use, and By Region Forecast to 2030" report has been added to's offering.

The market size for in-mold labels has reached USD 3.41 Billion in 2021, with an expected revenue CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period.

This steady growth can be attributed to the increased demand for packaged food and beverages. Research shows that global food sales reached around USD 2.64 trillion by 2019, up from an estimated USD 2.47 trillion in packaged food sales in 2016, with Walmart and Carrefour being two of the top food retailers globally with sales of up to USD 572.51 billion by 2019.

In-mold labels are a new idea in food packaging made of plastic that has been successfully applied to beverage packaging and various in-mold marked packs. Compared to conventional packaging methods such as Direct Silk Screen Printing, Heat Shrinkable Labels, and Self-Adhesive Label Printing, in-mold labeling packaging is entirely different. This IML food plastic packaging technology extends the product's shelf life, making it a more attractive option for consumers whose preferences are shifting towards packaged food and beverages.

The market trend is now leaning towards the use of 3D in-mold technology, which combines MuCell technology with IML label technology to create packages with a distinctive visual look and a soft-touch effect without affecting the container shape. The 3D in-mold label is made using an extended polypropylene injection-molded tub to combine selective masking and produce areas lacking adhesion. The MuCell method controls the polymer's nitrogen infusion, allowing it to migrate through both structures in areas where there is adhesion between the label and the polymer.

Market Dynamics


The market revenue growth of in-mold labels is being driven by the rising demand for labels that offer effective brand recognition for products. There is an increasing demand for eco-friendly, high-performance labels that support brand identity and awareness. The market's revenue growth is being attributed to the strength of the synthetic substrates on which the labels are printed. These labels are known for their excellent dimensional stability, which prevents curling and edge welding.

Additionally, the rising demand for environment-friendly labels is driving the market's revenue growth. In-mold labeling (IML) is considered an environmentally-friendly process because the labeling and packaging materials are made of the same material and can be completely recycled. This is in contrast to standard containers, which typically contain multiple components. The numerous materials, inks, and polishes available for decoration make IML a preferred option for labels providing efficient brand recognition to products.

Technology Insights

The global in-mold labels market is segmented based on technology, material, and end-use. The technology segment includes extrusion blow molding process, injection molding process, and thermoforming. The injection molding process is the most popular in-mold labeling technique that fuses a printed label with the plastic object produced in a mold cavity. It offers cost-effectiveness and design versatility, making it expected to register a rapid revenue growth rate during the forecast period.

The extrusion blow molding process segment is also gaining popularity, where the plastic material is heated, stretched into a tube, and blasted with air in a mold cavity to create a plastic tube that adopts the mold's shape. The label for embellishment is fused with the molded material, producing high-quality branded plastic goods.

Material Insights

The material segment includes Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (PE), ABS Resins, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and other co-polymers. Polypropylene (PP) is helpful for injection molding, and it has many applications outside of it, such as ropes, carpets, furniture, and apparel.

The packaging industry is the largest end-user of polypropylene, followed by electrical and equipment manufacture. Polyethylene (PE) is one of the most widely used packing materials due to its low cost and chemical resistance. It is leakage-proof and offers a terrific advertising option for the product. PE is highly adaptable and customizable, offering multiple thicknesses, clarities, and designer colors.

End-Use Insights

The end-use segment includes personal care, automotive, food & beverage, consumer durables, and others. The food & beverage segment is the main consumer of in-mold labeling due to its heat and humidity resistance, making it a great option for products that need to be refrigerated, frozen, or microwaved. IML offers better wear band scratch resistance than conventional decoration techniques and improves the decorative container's durability and product resistance. The automotive segment extensively uses in-mold labeling, providing durability and design flexibility, mimicking surface textures, and being less polluting and more environmentally friendly than spray painting.

The largest revenue share during the forecast period is expected to come from Europe, primarily due to increased activity by key market players in the region. For example, a Belgian company called MCC Verstraete has developed a new type of PP in-mold label that separates the labels from injection-molded PP containers during mechanical recycling, thus maintaining the container material's white hue or transparency for use in food-grade rPP appropriate for new containers. Currently, a PP container with a PP label's monomaterial construction allows for mechanical recycling of the two materials without separation to create new rPP non-food goods such as pails, but the label's inks can affect the rPP's final color, which is often masked by combining PP containers with different base colors during mechanical recycling.

Regional Insights

North America is projected to experience a rapid revenue growth rate during the forecast period, mainly due to increased government activity towards a more sustainable economy. For example, the U.S. Plastics Pact, a partnership between The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global Plastics Pact Network, announced a national plan to ensure that all plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. To achieve significant and targeted results for a circular economy for plastics, the "Roadmap to 2025" strategy, which is supported by almost 100 businesses, startups, research organizations, non-profit organizations, universities, and state and local governments, includes mandatory reporting and set deadlines.

During the forecast period, the market in the Asia Pacific region is expected to experience a steady revenue growth rate due to increased government activity towards a more sustainable economy. For example, members of ANZPAC are committed to the common goal of a plastic circular economy in which waste is never generated or contaminated. ANZPAC and all Plastics Pacts prioritize making all plastic packaging 100 percent recyclable or reusable by 2025. This commitment is based on a "recyclable" foundation, which defines packaging or a component of packaging as recyclable if its efficient collection, sorting, and recycling of post-consumer waste is demonstrated to be effective in use and at scale. This term goes beyond "technical recyclability."

Competitive Landscape

Market players' initiatives and strategies are driving revenue growth in the market. For example, Muller Technology, a leading global provider of molds and automation solutions for thin-wall packaging, will showcase the latest in-mold labeling automation technology for sustainable injection-molded packaging at the upcoming K 2022 exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany.

A 700-ton injection molding machine will run the turnkey, fully optimized system at the BMB S.p.A. stand, creating an 8-cavity circular container with visual inspection and downstream automation. This breakthrough in modular and high-output solutions satisfies the demands of current brand owners and processors that require excellent appearance, high production flexibility and productivity, improved user engagement, and Industry 4.0 data interchange capabilities. Muller has already sold this first IML manufacturing system to a well-known European packager.

Key Topics Covered:

Chapter 1. Market Synopsis

Chapter 2. Executive Summary

Chapter 3. Indicative Metrics

Chapter 4. In-Mold Labels Market Segmentation & Impact Analysis

Chapter 5. In-Mold Labels Market By Technology Insights & Trends

Chapter 6. In-Mold Labels Market By Material Insights & Trends

Chapter 7. In-Mold Labels Market By End-Use Insights & Trends

Chapter 8. In-Mold Labels Market Regional Outlook

Chapter 9. Competitive Landscape

Chapter 10. Company Profiles

Companies Mentioned

  • CCL Industries

  • Constantia Flexibles

  • Huhtamaki Group

  • Coveris

  • Cenveo Worldwide Limited

  • Fuji Seal Inc.

  • Multicolor Corporation

  • EVCO Plastics

  • Innovia Films Ltd.

  • Inland.

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