While sleeve labels represent only 15% of the total market for labels globally in 2011, it’s the fastest growing segment in the world, reported William Llewellyn, VP and senior counsel for Alexander Watson Associates, at the recent Sleeve Label Conference held in Cincinnati. “Global growth for all sleeve-label formats is estimated at 6.5%,” said Llewellyn. “Growth in North American and European markets held up well and that is stabilizing at approximately 5% depending on the format.”
There are three defined formats: Transverse Directional (TD) oriented film used for heat-shrink sleeves, stretch sleeves, and machine directional (MD) heat-shrink sleeves. All of these formats are based on polymer film substrates, and all provide 360-degree, high-quality graphics and can applied to bottles and containers with various shapes and curves. This capability of “head-to-toe” coverage is one of the major benefits driving brand owners to sleeve labels.
Some of the trends that Llewellyn noted in his presentation include more global brand owners specifying materials other than PVC. Yet, PVC represents 53% of the materials used in sleeve labels. PETG accounts for 21% of the materials used and he added that PETG is a substrate for PVC material in many markets. ...