The Smart Label Market is segmented by Technology (Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS), RFID, Sensing Label, NFC, Electronic Shelf Label (ESL)), End-user Industry (Retail, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical, Logistics, Manufacturing), and Geography.
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Scope of the Report
Key Market Trends
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Fastest Growing Market:
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The Smart Label Market was valued at USD 7.2 billion in 2019, and it is expected to register a CAGR of 13.2% during the period of 2020-2025. Smart labels are becoming one of the most popular technologies across the retail, healthcare, and logistics sectors, and are viewed as an ideal means to achieve greater efficiencies and profitability while providing the authenticity of an item and its traceability from the warehouse to the distribution center throughout the supply chain.
These labels are used as a tool to enable smart supply chains and are also playing a vital role in the marketing and advertising of consumer products. This can be achieved through the provision of product information, as well as the analysis of consumer buying patterns that can be accessed from the data collected by these labels. Cost-cutting over the supply chain, to be closer to the nearest level of efficiency, by manufacturers, has been a critical factor that has augmented the demand and prompted the proactive adoption of these solutions to gain the first-mover advantage in the individual end-user industry.
The e-commerce sector's significant growth, coupled with the rising use of communicative and connected packaging, bolstered the demand for smart labels across the world. Over the past few years, the e-commerce sector has observed remarkable growth in developed and developing economies.
Moreover, increasing customer spending patterns and rapid internet penetration are directly influencing the expansion of e-commerce. Thus, consistent demand for smart labels is likely to be generated by e-commerce for product tracking and tracing. To benefit the most out of this scenario, leading smart label manufacturers are launching advanced label solutions, particularly for the e-commerce sector.
The emergence of Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to be a key opportunity for the growth of the global smart label market during the forecast period. The on-going evolution of networking through the Internet of Things, termed as the Industry 4.0, which includes horizontal integration, vertical networking, constant engineering, and technological acceleration, will further offer vast opportunities for the smart label market.
Further, behavioral changes that have arisen due to COVID-19 have brought a higher interest for safe and traceable food on e-commerce platforms and raised public consciousness of health and safety in general. According to an IBM study, 71% of consumers are ready to pay an additional average premium of 37% for companies providing full transparency and traceability. While the food supply chain is one of the most complex and fragmented supply chains, 70% of firms have "visibility gaps" between the initial supplier and internal clients' systems.
Under such conditions, end-to-end visibility within the supply chain has become a top priority for businesses seeking to build trust with consumers, where blockchain and IoT will significantly impact—thereby boosting the market growth.
Scope of the Report
A smart label is an item identification slip that contains more advanced technologies than conventional bar code data. Smart Label gives easy and instantaneous access to detailed information about thousands of food, beverage, personal care, household, and pet care products. The most common enhancements in smart labels are QR codes, electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags, and specially configured RFID tags.
Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS)
Electronic Shelf Label (ESL)
By End-user Industry
Healthcare & Pharmaceutical
Other End-user Industries
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East & Africa
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Key Market Trends
Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) Technology is Expected to Drive the Market Growth
Electronic article surveillance (EAS) has the primary application of surveillance against shoplifting from retail stores, pilferage of books from libraries, and property removal from office buildings. In addition, this technology increases merchandising capability, deters theft and burglary, and can lessen stock losses by up to 85% (According to the Multi-color Corporation).
Sites with high efficacy for EAS labels are libraries, apparel and footwear, health and beauty, and food and beverage. They offer a positive shopping experience and maximum protection. The system under this technology usually consists of three components, namely the electronic antenna, deactivator or detacher, and an electronic tag.
Printed electronics solutions are expected to play a substantial role as a straightforward means of providing surfaces with electronic functions while facilitating data transmission. Furthermore, smart labels based on EAS technology are currently being developed.
In several countries, shoplifting is considered a primary problem to tackle. For instance, on a per case basis, employee theft values soared, the average theft amount per incident increased by 30% to USD 1,361 in 2018, and the average shoplifting case value increased by nearly 12% to USD 301.97 (As per 31st Annual Retail Theft Survey by Jack L. Hayes International, 2019). The application of this technology reduces the need for extensive surveillance in every area, saving a large amount of investment.
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North America Holds the Significant Market Share
North America is the largest market for smart labels globally, with the United States accounting for a significant region share. The country's huge market can be attributed to the vast presence of retail stores, both small and big.
Retail giants, such as Walmart, lead the United States. This is driving the upsurge in activity, mainly contributing to smart labels' growth in the country. Walmart has been placing electronic identification tags on men's clothing, like jeans, as the retailer tries to gain more control over its inventory.
Food companies use smart labels to connect with consumers, primarily by offering additional nutritional and ingredient information. For instance, since 2016, Hershey's products have been printed with scannable QR codes, which lead the customers to a microsite that details information on nutrition, ingredients, allergens, GMOs, and product usage and any advisories. These initiatives are also expected to push other companies to be more transparent.
The USDA and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have announced a framework agreement to label cell-based meats and potentially other food products. This is expected to augment the size of the market in the United States. Moreover, companies in the country are investing in technologies that drive greater traceability throughout their supply chains, with blockchain being increasingly used, along with smart labels.
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The smart label market is estimated to be fragmented due to the presence of established and emerging vendors that are leveraging the presence of a large number of smart label suppliers. These companies are leveraging strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability. Customization is a key factor in the differentiation of the products offered by the various vendors of the market. Thus the players focus on innovation to attain a competitive edge over the other players. Some of the recent developments in the market are:
May 2019 - Avery Dennison and EVRYTHNG announced the launch of an innovative new blockchain solution for the fashion industry, in partnership with 1017 ALYX 9SM, Matthew Williams’s cutting edge fashion label. This proof of concept distributed ledger technology (DLT) solution is an extension of Avery Dennison’s Janela platform, powered by EVRYTHNG, which allows brands to create clothing that is born digital, and connect with their customers directly via a QR code on the label.
February 2019 - UPM Raflatac introduced a new RafMore label in the market. These smart labels are designed to transform traditional product packaging into connected packaging with a unique traceable identity.