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Channel Update: New Market Opportunities With the HP Indigo 6900 Digital Color Press

Posted On: 
June 23, 2021


By now you have probably heard of General Data’s recent installation of a new HP Indigo 6900 digital color press, with a GM DC350 finisher.  This new Indigo digital press enables General Data to significantly "up our game" for the production of digitally printed labels, and also include a number of different embellishments, including laminations and cold foils.

But what does this new digital press with these enhanced capabilities mean for General Data’s channel partners that sell labels?  How can General Data channel partners leverage these capabilities to sell into new markets, pursue new opportunities, and increase their label sales?

Fundamental Value Of Digital Color Printing: Is It Just For Short Runs?

When digital color printing was first introduced to the label converter market, one of the primary benefits was the ability to produce short runs of labels quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.  Now with the advanced capabilities of the Indigo, digital color label printing goes beyond short run capabilities, giving companies and their brands more solutions to serve their customers and markets with the ability to react quickly to address the market and consumer trends that are changing the way products are packaged and labeled.

Consumers are increasingly making purchase decisions based on how they uniquely identify with brands.  Brands are reacting to this by updating their labeling and packaging to incorporate personalization, seasonality, and unique promotional strategies.  In addition, brands are relying on new label and packaging production capabilities to promote their brand and take shelf appeal to the next level.  

Consumer trends are changing and as shopper expectations evolve, brands are expected to adjust. Digitally printed labels are the perfect way for brands to connect with their customers in new, unique and personal ways.

With this in mind, the value of HP Indigo digital color label printing goes beyond short runs.  It's capabilities also include:

  • Variable Content
  • Randomized Content
  • Hyper-Customization
  • Personalized Content
  • Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Protection
  • Prototyping and Sample Production



Unique Packaging For Unique Brands and Their Customers

Here’s some examples of consumer products brands that utilized the Indigo’s unique capabilities for their labeling and packaging:

Planters peanuts unique label designs
Planter's Peanuts - 3 million one-of-a-kind designs to celebrate 100th birthday
Nutella unique packaging designs
Nutella - 7 million unique designs
Dr. Pepper unique label designs
Dr. Pepper - hundreds of unique label designs
Diet Coke - 2 million unique label designs
Diet Coke - 2 million unique designs

How To Pursue Digital Color Label Market Opportunities In High Growth Markets

The global pressure-sensitive label market was estimated at $86.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to surpass $120 billion by 2026. Breaking it down by market segment, food, beverage and health / personal care comprise 45% of the market.  It's within these market segments that you find the highest areas of growth and significant opportunities for digitally printed color labels.  The key is understanding these growth markets, the brand needs, and the customer expectations that drive them.

Craft Beer & Craft Distilleries

Though US craft beer sales volume was down in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, the craft beer market segment is expected to rebound significantly in 2021 and beyond as COVID restrictions are lifted and people start going out again. Uniqueness and artisan quality are key for brands in the craft beer industry, as craft beer brands are competing amongst themselves to be the most visually impressive and have the highest shelf appeal.

The craft distilleries market is expected to grow over $25B from 2019-2024, with 41% of that growth coming from North America alone. Exclusivity in state-by-state distribution rights are pushing local batching, branding, and retailing. The appearance of the product labeling and packaging is one of the largest drivers of purchase intent – above price and style – as 65% of consumers say that they “buy a brand they have never hear of or seen” monthly.

With General Data’s Indigo press, you now have a powerful resource to pursue craft beer and craft distillery product labeling opportunities, as speed to market coupled with distinctive, high-quality packaging is vital for craft brews and distilled spirits to stand out.  What can the HP Indigo do for craft beer and craft distillery brands?

trendy design
Trendy graphic design, illustrations and typography
any application
Any label application, including pressure-sensitive and shrink sleeves
any run length
Cost-effective solutions for any run length
metallic substrates
Metallic substrates for foil effects
special embellishments
Special embellishments – tactile varnish, foil, embossing
bold colors & graphics
Bold colors and graphics
unique substrates
Unique substrates, including stone paper, wood veneer and parchment paper

Food Labels

Businesses like restaurants, bakeries and even airport grab and go stations – anywhere where food is served to the masses -  are using digitally printed prime labels to mark their merchandise. They need to be able to display critical nutrition information while still maintaining an attractive design and powerful branding. Often times, they will need several standardized, uniform labels created each with a portion of variable information on it like an expiration date or product code.

General Data’s Indigo digital press gives you an edge over your competition so you can win more food label business from these food suppliers.  You can deliver food labels that directly address food suppliers needs for:

  • Smaller quantities
  • Multiple SKUs
  • Strong brand presence through powerful color graphics
  • Variable content

Nutraceutical Labels

“Nutraceuticals” is a broad term that is used to describe products derived from food sources designed to provide nutritional and medicinal health benefits, promote general well-being, control symptoms, and prevent malignant processes.  They include everything from sports & energy drinks to supplements for heart health, weight loss, beauty & anti-aging, and memory & mental health.

The nutraceutical market is expected to reach $336.1 billion by 2023 from $230.9 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8%, from 2018 to 2023. Companies providing products to this space range from large manufacturers to smaller “craft” operations. 

Using General Data’s HP Indigo as your resource enables you to supply labeling and packaging solutions to nutraceutical brands that align with their needs and their customers expectations:

Shelf appeal – bold colors, graphics and embellishments like foil embossing and tactile varnishes help brands stand out on the shelf, and promote a strong connection between the brand and the customer.

Agility – multiple SKUs and variations within product lines (sizes, versions and formulations) are common in this segment. In these instances, running these labels on the HP Indigo cuts production time from weeks down to days, and eliminates the costs associated with the many different plates needed to produce these labels on a traditional flexo press.

Brand protection and serialization – counterfeiting is a big issue in this market segment, and brands need labeling and packaging solutions that offer brand security so their customers are confident they are buying “the real thing.”  The Indigo digital press offers many options for cost-effective brand security and protection that is built into the labeling and packaging.

Cannabis Labels

Talk about a high-growth market! With the continued state-level legalization of cannabis use (both medical or recreational), in addition to the rapid growth of CBD-infused products, the cannabis packaging market was valued at $101.48B in 2019 and is expected to reach $297.51B by 2025, at a CAGR of 22.59% over 2020 - 2025.

The product mix for THC and CBD products includes flower (rolled or buds), edibles, waxes, oils, cartridges, beverages, cremes, ointments, soaks, tinctures, capsules and more! 

To sell labels and packaging into this fast-growing market, you need to position yourself as a trusted expert for labeling and packaging.  Cannabis and hemp are highly regulated industries with constantly “evolving” packaging and labeling regulations and requirements. Cannabis and hemp producers and processors want to partner with vendors they can trust to supply them with packaging and labeling for their products that works for them.

General Data’s HP Indigo digital press fits the bill perfectly for labeling and packaging cannabis and hemp products.  With it, you can provide your cannabis and hemp customers:

  • Labels and packaging that use bold, cutting edge designs, printing techniques and embellishments that promote and upsell their brand.
  • A cost-effective means for producing labels and packaging for all of their different products and variations without the customer having to invest in a substantial inventory of labels.
  • A solution that helps keep them in compliance with government-mandated packaging and labeling regulations, with the ability to update labels and packages quickly and easily when regulations change or new ones are mandated.

How To Get Started Selling Digital Printing

This blog post is meant to be a primer to help you understand what digital color label printing really is and what it's potential means for you.  If you have additional questions, want to learn more, or would like to discuss some of your customers’ labeling needs to see if they might be a good fit for the Indigo, your best resource – as always – is your General Data Channel Account Manager.  Contact them directly – or you can contact us here through the website - with any questions or requests, and they will be happy to help you grow your business with digital color label printing.