Brand protection market set for strong growth

Upwards trajectory on graphOver the next 10 years, the value of the brand protection and security printing market will rise from $27bn to $45bn, says Smithers Pira.

The increase by 2026 will be driven by the emergence of 10 key technologies that promise to "disrupt and transform the security print industry," according to the new market research report.

Smithers Pira's pick of technologies include: biometrics (facial and on-card), cloud computing, covert QR codes, data analytics, invisible digital ink, lenses for passport data pages, polycarbonate and polymer substrates and smartphone authentication.

It sees major opportunities for the sector in pharmaceuticals and tobacco - thanks to new traceability legislation being introduced around the world - as well as updates to currency and the roll-out of multi-function identity cards and in crop protection, amongst others.

The proportion of personalisation and digital machine-readable technologies is expected to increase dramatically as a result of the emergence of the disruptive technologies.

Simultaneously a significant market for data management solutions will be established thanks to end-users demanding - and vendors developing - secure technologies for bridging physical security to data analytics in the cloud.

"The smartphone is rapidly becoming the digital medium of choice to store and use travel, event, payment and identification documents and credentials, thus displacing the physical medium that is the livelihood of the security printing industry," says the report.

Globally the number of users is modest, but it is highly dynamic area and has the greatest disruptive potential, according to a survey of industry experts carried out by Smithers Pira.

Meanwhile, smartphone verification using handset fingerprint scanners or facial recognition software aligns with the rise of biometric verification.

"Biometrics, while not directly a security print technology, has over the last 15 years dramatically changed the landscape of how an individual's identity is verified – a trend that will continue to 2026," it says.
As this happens, security print firms will need to build new skills and capabilities, and this will in turn drive mergers and acquisitions (M&A). The rise of data analytics and an increasingly online world for financial and security processes create a similar impetus for the industry – as well as new tools for counterfeiters. 

Smart devices will also play an increasingly important role in anti-counterfeit packaging and brand protection, explains report author Rudie Lion.

"Smartphone technology is only in its infancy with apps that can scan barcodes and QR codes," he said.

"The future focus will be on the evolution of covert QR codes, digital watermark technology and a new generation of cheap electronic connectivity to exploit fully the smartphone's disruptive potential in brand protection packaging."

In currency, polymer banknotes will continue to increase market share over the next decade with a rising number of countries switching from traditional cotton paper substrates. The advantages of polymer substrate currency include durability, environmental friendliness, anti-counterfeiting success, and ultimately lifecycle cost.

While Smithers Pira's analysis shows that it is unlikely to fully displace paper banknotes over the 2016-2026 study period, it will prompt innovation in coating and varnishes for paper currency, clean note policies, automated teller machines (ATMs) and banknote processing equipment, as well as the design and authentication of banknotes.

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