AWA and TLMI connect the shrink sleeve labeling industry

AWA Alexander Watson Associates and TLMI have teamed up for an interactive conference and exhibit in Covington, KY, USA, just outside of Cincinnati, OH. The two associations jointly organized the AWA & TLMI International Sleeve Label Conference & Exhibition from November 10-12, 2021, where they connected the shrink sleeve labeling industry and its customers in a hybrid format. Attendees had the option of attending the event in person at the Cincinnati Marriott at RiverCenter or participating virtually.

After more than 18 months of absence from trade shows, conferences and other industry events, the AWA & TLMI International Sleeve Label Conference & Exhibition has offered a welcome return to suppliers, processors and brands. The event highlighted the opportunities present for label converters looking to grow their business, how to be successful on the shelf and what sustainable steps are being taken in this growth segment.

The hybrid event hosted 120 in-person guests and over 150 virtual attendees. Those who joined AWA and TLMI for the in-person portion of the event were treated to a tabletop exhibit, which showcased a wide range of companies, from Fathom Optics and Flint Group to HP and Siegwerk.

“It was a pleasure working with TLMI to put this program together and kick off this conference, which is the first cover label event we’ve had in almost two years,” said Corey Reardon, President and CEO. management of AWA. “The shrink sleeve is still the fastest growing labeling format. It is growing at a decelerating rate and will fluctuate with GDP growth. But it continues to grow faster than any other labeling format in the world, growing just under 4%. “

In comparison, self-adhesive labels are experiencing global label growth of 3.4% per year.
Asia is the engine of this segment at 4.6%. While self-adhesive labels make up a larger portion of the labels produced, the edges of shrink sleeves are self-adhesive labels in the primary labeling category.

In 2020, 12.6 billion square meters of shrink sleeves were printed, with Asia accounting for 66% while Europe and North America accounting for 19% and 11% respectively. According to Reardon, 89% of shrink sleeves worldwide are TD heat shrink sleeve labels, which he says “is the dominant format.”

“Pressure sensitive will continue to experience healthy growth due to its flexibility and variety of materials,” Reardon adds. “The shrink sleeve segment is promising and we expect to see it grow at a steady pace for some time. ”

The event also marked a milestone for AWA. The AWA & TLMI International Sleeve Label Industry Conference & Exhibition – held for the 15th time – commemorated the 50th anniversary of AWA Alexander Watson Associates supplying the paper, film, packaging industries , coating and transforming information and expert data. Since 1971, AWA has focused on these key market segments, including labeling and shrink sleeves.

Linnea Keen, President of TLMI, detailed the association’s role in the industry. TLMI has partnered with AWA for this busy event.

TLMI has 310 members, with a distribution of 150 processors and 160 suppliers. According to Keen, TLMI members are seeing twice the sales growth of non-members.

“It’s a very resilient industry in which to operate,” she notes. “We are proud to promote networking, knowledge sharing and support. “

Keen also presented some of the results of TLMI’s latest converter survey. “All label segments showed growth in 2021 and segments that struggled in 2020 rebounded with strong growth, up to over 20% in some segments. “

She adds: “86% of responding converters saw an increase in sales compared to the second quarter of 2020, and 75% reported an increase in profits compared to the same quarter last year. “

There are a multitude of label and packaging printing converters that have succeeded in the burgeoning shrink sleeve space. AWA and TLMI have explored how converters can capitalize on this market, especially as more end-use segments migrate to shrink sleeve technology.

A key panel discussion, titled “From Concept to Consumer Pleasure: The Keys to Making Shrink Sleeves That Win in Store,” detailed ways in which processors can produce efficient shrink sleeves.

David Lukshus, CEO of COG, moderated the session, which included panelists Lindsey Frimming, CIO, COG, Tracy Murchison, senior design manager at PCC Olay, Safeguard, Ivory, Procter & Gamble, and Kris Knox, senior producer of personal care design at Procter & Gamble.

“Our goal is to exploit real estate as much as possible,” explains Murchison. “I have this billboard, now what can I do to maximize this design? “

Knox emphasized the importance of visualizing the 3D shape and what’s inside the bottle. “What are we trying to show or hide? It could be an unwanted color, for example, ”Knox explains. “We want consumers to research the packaging itself and what is shown on the outside.”

Digital printing is also starting to play a big role in this space. Ricardo Rodríguez, Commercial Director, Grupo Mayapack, says: “75% of purchasing decisions are made right in front of you on the shelves. And today, over 25% of jobs contain multiple versions, or SKUs. Digital technology, for us, has doubled our turnover in one year.

Meanwhile, shrink sleeves are becoming a staple for many brands of beer, from major players to craft breweries. Tara Halpin, CEO and Owner of Steinhauser, and Greg Rouse, Co-Founder and COO, Braxton Brewing Co., identified the trends and strategies for success in this particular end-use market.

As part of the AWA & TLMI International Sleeve Label Conference & Exhibition, Steinhauser, Verst and AWA welcomed attendees to The Loft at Braxton Brewing Company on November 11, 2021. The event allowed attendees to network and to see the latest from Braxton Brewing Company. shrink sleeve products.

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