The graphic film market was valued at $26.75 / £20.44 Billion in 2019, and it is expected to reach $31.19 / £23.83 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 5.56% during the forecast period (2020 – 2025). The growing investment in marketing and advertising, increasing adoption of graphic films in the automotive sector, growth in demand for wrap advertisements, and increasing advancement in printing technology and graphic films are some of the major factors driving the studied market growth.
– Indoor advertising, outdoor advertising, vehicle graphics, traffic and safety markings, and architectural graphics are some of the significant applications of graphic films. However, after the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the film requirements have changed in many of these applications, which have negatively affected the demand but have also created new opportunities in the studied market. Indoor and outdoor advertising are applications that have changed the most.
– Growth in outdoor advertising is expected to be slower in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak and increasing adoption of digital out-of-home advertising. However, due to COVID-19, the market is also witnessing high product innovation in terms of growing launches of graphic films with additional characteristics like anti-bacterial feature. This could force manufacturers to change processes and help companies, especially in Europe and Asia, to make profits due to a surge in demand for these products.
– Cast vinyl films are also witnessing increasing adoption, especially in applications with complex surfaces, such as vehicles. Water-based graphic films are also becoming rapidly expanding segment. Polyethylene is the cheapest film, but due to inadequate gas barrier properties and low-temperature resistance, their adoption is limited in some applications.
– Many market vendors make significant improvements in formulation and building their cast polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film to enhance product performance. The recent COVID-19 has further promoted these strategies in the market. Companies like 3M are mainly adopting these methods. In May 2020, due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, UK-based Graphic Image Films launched a new BOPP product to give additional protection featuring the anti-bacterial property.
Key Market Trends
Automotive is Expected to Witness Significant Growth
– Automotive is emerging as one of the significant applications in the market studied, owing to the growing adoption of medium-life polymeric calendered films, particularly for leased vehicle fleets and durable, conformable, high-quality cast films for long-life commercial fleet markings and personalized vehicle body wraps.
– Graphic films are also used as paint protection films to protect the exterior components of the vehicle from lower maintenance costs. The rising demand for graphic films to safeguard vehicles and for advertising in developed and developing economies is projected to augment graphic films’ growth in the automotive sector.
– In the last 2-3 years, most market vendors, even across the value chain, are increasingly targeting the automotive industry. For instance, in April 2020, US-based Mactac launched a new adhesive vehicle wrap for vendors looking to advertise the products and brands on trucks, buses, vans, and other vehicles, and the company reports the new proprietary adhesive is going to enhance the ease with which the application of the wraps is made considerably.
– Car Wraps have been around for significant years now, while the technology behind building these graphics have evolved considerably over the last decade alone. Vinyl wraps are almost everywhere in the world of huge graphics and ultimate coverage.
– In Feb 2020, the FDC Graphic Films Inc launched a premium ultra-metallic cast vinyl film, Lumina 3710, for the usage in general signage, RV and marine applications, automotive aftermarket graphics, and striping. The 3710 Series provides dynamic graphic accents due to its large metal flakes, high surface gloss, and exceptional colour depth.
Europe is Expected to Witness Considerable Growth
– The graphic film market in Europe is estimated to expand at a moderate pace over the forecast period. Demand for these films in Europe is likely to rise in the next few years due to an increase in the usage of films in vehicle wrapping. Many of the significant and emerging market vendors are Europe-based, making the region an innovation hub.
– The region is also playing a vital role in the advancement of global printing technology, which is also leveraging and utilizing in the studied market. The scope of printed packaging is also expanding in the region owing to growth in industries, such as e-commerce. E-commerce is even driving the adoption of graphic films in the region.
– Germany is one of the significant markets in the region, owing to its dominance in the printing industry and film plastic adoption. The country’s dominance in the automotive sector at the global level is also attracting many market vendors in the region. Most of the European market vendors are betting high on the automotive industry for their graphic film products.
– Therefore, many of the Germany companies are also acquiring regional companies in the market studied to gain dominance. For instance, Kay Premium Marking Films (KPMF) is a UK-based manufacturer of high-quality self-adhesive vinyl films and was highly targeting the automotive industry. In Sep 2019, the company was acquired by Germany-based market vendor, ORAFOL Europe GmbH.
– The recent COVID-19 outbreak has provided a significant boost to many local market vendors, especially in the United Kingdom. Floor graphics is one such application that is witnessing a surge in demand for graphic films mainly due to COVID-19 and during the lockdown period.
– The region is also witnessing acquisition and collaboration trends among the market vendors. For instance, in June 2019, Italy-based market vendor, Mag Data Group, acquired Cerfin Group, which controls the Companies Ultralen Srl and Ultralen Film GmbH. With this acquisition, Mag Data Group consolidates its leading position as a distributor of PET and BOPP films in the paper and board lamination sector and the flexible packaging and graphic applications in Italy and Europe.
The graphic film market is quite fragmented and, at the same time, highly competitive. Key strategies that are adopted by the major players in the market are product innovation, mergers, and acquisitions in order to extend their reach and stay competitive in the market. Some of the key players in the market include 3M Company, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, FDC Graphic Films Inc., Avery Dennison Corporation, Spandex AG, among others.
– June 2020 – FDC Graphic Films Inc launched a new premium etched glass vinyl film, Lumina 3522, to simulate an etched glass or sandblasted look on a variety of surfaces. The 3522 series is used for interior and exterior applications on partitions, displays, and windows. It has seven-year outdoor durability when unprinted. The launch of this new film is part of the company’s recovery support program launched in June to help customers begin the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
– May 2020 – Spandex, launched ImagePerfect SafeTouch, an antimicrobial film for use in environments where it’s essential to minimize the spread of bacteria on surfaces. ImagePerfect SafeTouch (IP 2830-111) is an 80-micron transparent film designed for interior flat applications such as markings and decorations, counters, desks, and doors in environments requiring high levels of hygiene, for example, retail spaces, public transport, healthcare and education settings, hospitality and leisure businesses, and event locations.
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