785.271.5801 | [email protected]

IMDA Survey Offers Insight into IMD/IML Trends

by Plastics Decorating

The In-Mold Decorating Association (IMDA), Scottsdale, AZ, recently completed an analysis of data from its Fall 2014 Short Shot Business Survey. The six-question survey was sent to molders, brand owners, printers, industry suppliers and equipment manufacturers to provide insight into the growth of in-mold decorating (IMD) and in-mold labeling (IML). The results from this most recent survey were compared against answers to the same six questions posed in spring 2011, although it should be noted that the number of respondents to the 2014 survey was almost double those who answered in 2011. With the plastics industry seeing an upswing after the economic downturn, the results of the 2014 survey are strikingly similar to those from the previous survey. Encouraging signs for the industry can be seen in the continued increase in demand for quotes or proposals, which also has led to increased sales.

In each of the charts, data from both the 2011 and 2014 surveys is shown.

The profile of the survey participants largely reflects the makeup of the industry: 50 percent in-mold label printers, 21 percent material suppliers (label substrates, inks, etc.), 13 percent molders, 10 percent equipment suppliers and 5 percent brand owners.

When asked why their companies provide IML/IMD services, 38 percent said their customers demand it, up from 32 percent in 2011. Thirty-four percent said IML/IMD is a market differentiator, up from 32 percent in 2011. Ten percent said IML/IMD is a durable decorating method, down from 14 percent in 2011.

Target markets have shifted slightly from 2011 to 2014, with an increase in both packaging and consumer products. Packaging increased from 38 percent to 39 percent from 2011 to 2014 while durable products dropped from 31 percent to 26 percent over the same period.

IML/IMD remains a significant percentage of most respondents' businesses, although the focus has shifted for some. When asked how much of their businesses are IML- or IMD-related, the most significant change in IML/IMD as a percent of respondentsí total business was in the 11 percent to 20 percent range, increasing from 6.9 percent in 2011 to 13.7 percent in 2014.

An important measure of IML/IMD growth for 2014 are the companies reporting 1 percent to 10 percent growth (27.8 percent) and those reporting more than 10 percent growth (40.7 percent).

This measure of future business "in the pipeline" continues strong with 28 percent reporting requests for quotes, the same as the previous quarter, 26 percent reporting an increase of one to 10 percent and 35 percent said these requests increased by more than 10 percent.

The level of new requests for quotes at 61 percent is a strong indicator of the continued growth in IML and IMD business into 2015.


With the exception of a slight shift in target markets from durable to consumer products, the results of the 2014 IMDA Short Shot Business Survey closely mirrors those obtained in 2011. Increases in IML/IMD sales for the previous quarter plus the high volume of new requests for quotes and proposals indicates continued strong growth for in-mold labeled and in-mold decorated products into 2015.

The In-Mold Decorating Association (IMDA) is an organization of molders, printers, material suppliers and equipment manufacturers committed to the development and growth of in-mold decorating products, technologies and markets. The IMDA enhances and supports those businesses by raising the level of awareness and acceptance of in-mold decorated durable products and packaging by OEMs, brand owners and marketers, integrating the interests of the entire IML and IMD supply chain through its promotional and educational programs. For more information, visit www.imdassociation.com.