United States Printing Inks Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The market is segmented by Type (Solvent-based, Water-based, Oil-based, UV, UV-LED, and Other Types), Process (Lithographic Printing, Flexographic Printing, Gravure Printing, Digital Printing, and Other Processes), Application (Packaging, Commercial and Publication, Textiles, and Other Applications). The report offers market size and forecasts for Printing Inks in United States in volume (kilo tons) for all the above segments.

Market Snapshot

United States Printing Inks Market - Market Summary
Study Period: 2016-2026
Base Year: 2020
CAGR: 2.73 %

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Market Overview

The United States printing inks market (henceforth, referred to as the market studied) stood 938.51 kilo tons in 2020 and is expected to register a CAGR of 2.73% during the forecast period ( 2021-2026). The major factors driving the growth of the market studied include the growing demand from the digital printing industry and rising demand from the packaging and labels sector.

On the flip side, rising demand for digital advertisements and e-books, and stringent regulations regarding disposal, are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied

Scope of the report

Printing inks consist of pigment or pigments of required color mixed with oil or varnish, majorly a black ink made from carbon blacks and thick linseed oil added. The market for printing inks is segmented by type, process, and application. By type, the market is segmented into solvent-based, water-based, oil-based, UV, UV-LED, and other types. By process, the market is segmented into lithographic printing, flexographic printing, gravure printing, digital printing, and other processes. By application, the market is segmented into packaging, commercial and publication, textiles, and other applications.

Other Types
Lithographic Printing
Flexographic Printing
Gravure Printing
Digital Printing
Other Processes
Rigid Packaging
Paperboard Containers
Corrugated Boxes
Rigid Plastic Containers
Metal Cans
Other Rigid Packaging
Flexible Packaging
Other Packaging
Commercial and Publication
Other Applications

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Key Market Trends

Water-based Inks to Dominate the Market Growth

  • Water-based inks have pigments or dyes in a colloidal suspension of solvent, with the solvent being water. Although there can be other co-solvents, the main solvent in water-based inks is water. The main properties of interest of water-based ink are its viscosity, stability of the colloidal dispersion, surface tension, size and shape of the colorant particles, bleeding, foamability, shear stability, boiling point, temperature, scrubbing resistance, water resistance, and pH.
  • These printing inks are used majorly in flexographic printing processes and gravure for applications, such as beverage and detergent cartons and gift wrap. Water-based inks require higher temperature and longer dry exposure time to drive off water and constituents with lower vapor pressure.
  • The main driving force for the usage of water-based inks is that they not only reduce the VOCs but also completely remove hazardous chemicals from the ink.
  • With the development of new printing processes and additives, water-based inks are now majorly used in almost all printing processes and on most materials for many different applications.
  • Water-based inks work well in printing applications involving paper, cardboard, and textiles, and they are used to print on foils, plastics, and food packaging.
  • Water-based inks are likely to exhibit steady growth in the US printing ink market with the growing research in water-based inks, making them suitable for diverse purposes
US Printing Inks Market - Segmentation Trends

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Flexible Packaging Segment to Dominate the Market

Flexible packaging is the largest packaging application segment of the overall packaging market, owing to its various advantages, such as requiring 91% lesser material than rigid packaging, and about 96% of space saving. Moreover, with an increasing focus on sustainability, traditional rigid packaging solutions are being replaced by innovative and flexible packaging solutions. In the food industry, flexible packaging is preferred due to its moisture absorption properties, product freshness, and temperature control, while being able to maintain the shelf life of the product. Cigarettes and associated tobacco products are major products for the flexible packaging industry, among other products, such as bottled water. 

Additionally, the demand for lightweight and innovative packaging solutions from the food industry is majorly driving the market. The transition in the industry is led by a few segments, such as baby food, pet food, sauces, and soups. The growing trend of online interaction with consumers is the new branding technique for companies, as they are eager to forge a longer-lasting two-way relationship with consumers by integrating with social media. Flexible packaging inks also offer many advantages to brand owners, retailers, and consumers, such as high graphic appearance. They also contribute to performance of the package by preserving the quality of the images during manufacturing, packaging, transportation, and end use of products. With growing population in the United States, the requirement for food is increasing, thus, resulting in increased demand for flexible packaging in the country.

Moreover, in the United States, the flexible packaging market is growing at a faster pace, owing to the benefits offered by flexible packaging and higher end-user preference over other packaging types. The changing trends in consumer behavior and manufacturers’ increased convenience are resulting in faster growth of the flexible packaging market in the country. According to the Flexible Packaging Association’s (FPA), the total US flexible packaging industry is estimated to be more than USD 35.6 billion in annual sales, by the end of 2020. This flexible packaging industry includes packaging for retail and institutional food and non-food, medical and pharmaceutical, industrial materials, and retail shopping bags, among others. The US food industry is the largest segment for flexible packaging. Hence, the aforementioned factors are driving the market for printing ink during the forecast period

US Printing Inks Market - Segmentation Trends

Competitive Landscape

The United States printing inks market is fragmented in nature, with no company holding a major share in the market. Most of the market leaders are vertically integrated, i.e., they produce the raw materials required for the manufacturing of printing inks. Furthermore, they sell equipment that is used for printing. The top manufacturers of the market include Sun Chemical, Flint Group, Sakata Inx Corporation, and Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA, among others.​

Recent Developments

  • In May 2021, Epple Druckfarben AG and Zeller+Gmelin GmbH & Co. KG are now working together in the field of UV ink technology. The first result of this partnership a jointly developed UV-LED ink for sheetfed offset. The products are being developed for different areas of application, which Epple will market worldwide under the "LightStar“ brand.
  • In October 2020, Flint Group Packaging Inks announced the acquisition of Poteet Printing Systems LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, the United States. This acquisition aligns with a key element of Flint Group Packaging’s strategy to grow not only organically, but also via acquisition. Poteet Printing Systems LLC manufactures and sells water-based inks for flexographic applications to printers' converters across the United States

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Growing Demand from the Digital Printing Industry

      2. 4.1.2 High Demand from the Packaging Sector

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Rising Demand for Digital Advertisements and E-books

      2. 4.2.2 Stringent Regulations Regarding Disposal

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition


    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Solvent-based

      2. 5.1.2 Water-based

      3. 5.1.3 Oil-based

      4. 5.1.4 UV

      5. 5.1.5 UV-LED

      6. 5.1.6 Other Types

    2. 5.2 Process

      1. 5.2.1 Lithographic Printing

      2. 5.2.2 Flexographic Printing

      3. 5.2.3 Gravure Printing

      4. 5.2.4 Digital Printing

      5. 5.2.5 Other Processes

    3. 5.3 Application

      1. 5.3.1 Packaging

        1. Rigid Packaging

          1. Paperboard Containers

          2. Corrugated Boxes

          3. Rigid Plastic Containers

          4. Metal Cans

          5. Other Rigid Packaging

        2. Flexible Packaging

        3. Labels

        4. Other Packaging

      2. 5.3.2 Commercial and Publication

      3. 5.3.3 Textiles

      4. 5.3.4 Other Applications


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Ranking Analysis

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Altana

      2. 6.4.2 Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals Mfg. Co. Ltd

      3. 6.4.3 Dow

      4. 6.4.4 DuPont

      5. 6.4.5 Electronics For Imaging Inc.

      6. 6.4.6 Flint Group

      7. 6.4.7 FUJIFILM Corporation

      8. 6.4.8 Hubergroup Deutschland GmbH

      9. 6.4.9 Sakata Inx Corporation

      10. 6.4.10 Sicpa Holding SA

      11. 6.4.11 Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA

      12. 6.4.12 Sun Chemical

      13. 6.4.13 T&K TOKA Corporation

      14. 6.4.14 Tokyo Printing Ink Mfg Co. Ltd

      15. 6.4.15 Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co. Ltd

      16. 6.4.16 Wikoff Color Corporation

      17. 6.4.17 Zeller+Gmelin

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Emergence of Bio-based And UV-curable Inks

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The United States printing inks market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The United States printing inks market is growing at a CAGR of 2.73% over the next 5 years.

Sun Chemical, Flint Group, Sakata Inx Corporation, Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA, Hubergroup Deutschland GmbH are the major companies operating in United States printing inks market.

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