Smart Labels Market

Smart Labels Market (Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Labels) by Type of Technology, Type of Packaging, Type of Primary Packaging, Type of Secondary Packaging and Key Geographical Regions: Industry Trends and Global Forecasts, 2022-2035

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Smart Labels Overview

Smart labels market (for healthcare and pharmaceutical industry) is estimated to be $3.7 million in 2023 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 16% during the forecast period. The annual golobal market for counterfeit drugs is estimated to be $200 billion and this value is believed to be expanding rapidly. As per a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), 20% of counterfeit pharmaceuticals include an incorrect amount of the active ingredient, while 30% of the counterfeit drugs contain no active ingredient at all. Such illegal practices are likely to endanger the lives of the patients, as well as tarnish the developer company's reputation. In order to overcome the aforementioned concerns, label service providers have strengthened the ongoing labelling practices and are shifting towards smart labelling technologies, which is a part of the intelligent packaging market. Smart labels, also known as tags, offer several benefits, such as track and trace the products in a supply chain, and tamper proofing, discouraging counterfeiters from packaging fake drugs. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the smart labelling technology is expected to save $0.8 - 1.5 million per year per company, through their applications in inventory management. Despite numerous growth drivers for adopting smart label technologies, there are some factors that may hinder their immediate uptake. These include high price of integrating the technology as well as lack of well-established regulatory standards across the globe. Such considerations may also prevent investment opportunities for smart label technologies. It is worth highlighting that, in the recent years, consortiums, such as GS1 standards and RAIN Alliance, have been established to standardize global regulations. 

The image provides context on smart labels market. Pharmaceutical smart labels offer functionality and connectivity, along with providing an interactive and real-time solution, across the overall supply chain This image provides a list of smart label manufacturers (including RFID tag manufacturers). The current market landscape features the presence of over 90 players engaged in the smart pharmaceutical and healthcare labels domain, worldwide The infographic focuses on smart labels market landscape. Over 80 players employ radio frequency identification device-based technology in order to develop cutting-edge labels for a wide range of applications; IoT labels are also gaining traction

Key Market Insights

The Smart Labels Market for Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industry by Type of Technology (RFID, NFC and Other Technologies), Type of Packaging (Primary Packaging and Secondary Packaging), Type of Primary Packaging (Vials, Syringes, Cartridges, Ampoules, Bottles and Blister Packs), Type of Secondary Packaging (Boxes, Cartons and Pouches) and Key Geographical Regions (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, MENA and Latin America) - Industry Trends and Global Forecasts, 2022-2035 report features an extensive study of the current market landscape, market size and future opportunities associated with the smart labels, offering in-depth analyses of the various business entities engaged in this industry, across key global regions. 0The market report answers many key questions related to the industry:

Current Market Landscape of Smart Label Manufacturers: Smart Labels Market is Dominated by RFID Tag Manufacturers

The smart label manufacturers landscape features a mix of large, mid-sized and small companies, which have the required expertise to offer smart labels based on various technologies, such as RFID, NFC (near field communication) and other advanced technologies that enable tracking of products throughout the supply chain. It is worth highlighting that more than 40% of the label manufacturers are based in North America.

Over 80 manufacturers are developing RFID smart labels for a wide range of applications. These RFID tags are classified as passive RFID tags or active RFID tags. These tags are further classified on the type of RFID frequency band. The most popularly offered tags are the ultra-high frequency / UHF RFID labels, with nearly 68% of the manufacturers offering this product for pharmaceutical applications. Pharmaceutical companies such as Hanmi Pharmaceutical are using RAIN RFID tags from Impinj containing an Impinj Monza tag chip to track each product through the supply chain.

Smart Labels Market Size

Smart labels market for pharmaceutical and healthcare applications is estimated to be $ 3.7 billion in 2023. Driven by the rise in demand for pharmaceutical drugs and need for improved tracking mechanisms, the future opportunities and growth associated with this market are anticipated to witness a noteworthy growth in the foreseen future. The global market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 16% during the forecast period. Specifically, in terms of type of label technology, the market is dominated by RFID smart labels and this trend is unlikely to change in the future.

Primary Packaging Solutions Currently Holds the Largest Market Share

The majority share of revenues is likely to be driven by companies offering smart labels for primary packaging to prevent counterfeit of drugs. Presently, within primary packaging, syringes dominate the smart labels market. This can be attributed to the fact there is significantly higher demand for syringes as it is considered the most preferred primary packaging container for the delivery of drugs / biologics across the globe. It is worth highlighting, in November 2022, Schreiner MediPharm and Schott Pharma partnered to develop a smart label, using RFID technology, for prefilled syringes. Another company, NP Plastibell launched a smart prefilled syringe which comprises an embedded NFC tag from STMicroelectronics. The near field communication RFID tag does not require battery to operate but is powered by close proximity of the NFC reader. Vials, cartridges and blister packs are other prominent primary packaging containers that are anticipated to witness significant market growth during the forecast period.

Recent Trends: The RFID Tags are Becoming Smaller and IoT Labels are Gaining Traction

RFID tag manufacturers are working on developing smaller RFID labels which can allow item level track and trace within the pharmaceutical supply chain. In February 2022, Avery Dennison Smartrac launched its Minidose U9 RAIN RFID inlay, which it claims to be the smallest smart label in the market for pharmaceutical applications. As the pharmaceutical industry continues to adopt smarter technologies, IoT based smart labels are becoming widely accepted as they enable more functionality than regular smart labels. In order to promote its use and ensure adequate safety for the consumers (beyond healthcare use), the government agencies around the globe, such as Singapore, Germany and Finland have already instituted legislation for IoT security labels. The US intends to launch IoT security labels by Spring 2023. This is likely to increase the adoption of such new technologies in the pharmaceutical industry as well. 
Such recent developments in this segment of the intelligent packaging industry indicate that the smart label providers are upgrading their existing portfolio and intellectual capital to accommodate the current and anticipated demand for such competitive products.

Market Drivers for Smart Labels in the Healthcare Sector

Owing to need to minimize the impact of counterfeited drugs and reduce medication errors occurring due to poor labelling and unclear packaging, pharmaceutical and biotech drug developers have gradually adopted the use of smart labels for their packaging requirements. 
Further, growing popularity of smart labels in the healthcare sector can be attributed to their ability to safely collect patient data, act as an anti-counterfeit solution and provide better security for pharmaceuticals.

Key Smart Labels Manufacturers

Examples of key companies engaged in this industry (which have also been captured in this report) include CCL Industries, Schreiner, Datalogic, Tadbik, SATO Asia Pacific, Invengo, Intellhydro Technology, RFiD Discovery and ID Tech Solutions.

The image provides details on competitiveness in smart labels market. Smart label providers are continuously upgrading their existing portfolio and are seeking investments, as well as expanding their intellectual capital, in order to gain an edge in this competitive industry This image focuses on the level of innovation happening in this domain, driving smart labels market growth. More than 400 patents have been granted / filed for smart pharmaceutical and healthcare labels, primarily led by industry players based in North America The image provides details on level of partnerships activity in smart labels market. A rise in interest in partnerships, in the recent past, involving both international and indigenous stakeholders, validate the growing interest in this domain; maximum number of such deals were signed in 2019

Recent Developments in Smart Labels Market

Several recent developments have taken place in the field of smart labels. We have outlined some of these recent initiatives below. These developments, even if they took place post the release of our market report, substantiate the overall market trends that have been outlined in our analysis.

  • In June 2023, IQVIA launched IQVIA RIM Smart Labeling, a comprehensive labeling solution, which can be used in the life sciences industry to offer an intelligence-driven approach to strength global label management. 
  • In March 2023, Philips launched a radiology portfolio of smart connected imaging systems and vendor-neutral integrated radiology workflow solutions to automate and accelerate routine tasks in order to generate patient-centric insights from large volumes of data to improve productivity and enhance patient outcome. 

Scope of the Report

The market report presents an in-depth analysis of the various firms / organizations that are engaged in this industry, across different segments as defined in the below table:

Market Segments Details

Base Year


Forecast Period

2022 – 2035

Market Size (2022)

$3.5 billion



Type of Technology

  • RFID
  • NFC
  • Other Technologies

Type of Packaging

  • Primary Packaging
  • Secondary Packaging

Type of Primary Packaging

  • Vials
  • Syringes
  • Cartridges
  • Ampoules
  • Bottles
  • Blister Packs

Type of Secondary Packaging

  • Boxes
  • Cartons
  • Pouches
Key Geographical Regions
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • MENA
  • Latin America

The research report presents an in-depth analysis, highlighting the capabilities of various stakeholders engaged in this market, across different geographies. Amongst other elements, the market report includes:

  • A brief overview of smart labels, along with the information on their role and advantages in healthcare sector, along with details on the types of smart labels, featuring their applications in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. In addition, it includes a discussion on various challenges associated with the adoption of smart labels, future perspectives, and the factors driving the smart pharmaceutical and healthcare labels industry.
  • A detailed review of the overall landscape of companies engaged in the smart label industry, along with information on type of technology (including RFID labels, Bluetooth labels, sensing labels and IoT labels), RFID frequency band (low frequency, high frequency, NFC and ultra-high frequency and unspecified) and area(s) of application (supply chain management, asset tracking, patient centricity, patient tracking, payment tracking, product authentication, clinical trial labelling, blood bag management, other application(s))
  • A detailed competitiveness analysis of companies engaged in the development of smart labels for the healthcare and pharmaceutical market, based on their supplier strength (in terms of years of experience and company size), service strength (based on the type of area(s) of application and type of RFID frequency band) and portfolio strength (in terms of number of technology).
  • Elaborate profiles of prominent companies (shortlisted on the basis of number of application area and company size) that claim to specialize in offering smart labels for the healthcare and pharmaceutical market. Each profile features a brief overview of the company, along with information on their year of establishment, number of employees, location of headquarters, key executives, as well as details related to their smart labels focused portfolio, recent developments and an informed future outlook.
  • An in-depth analysis of patents related to smart labels for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry that have been filed / granted till date, based on several relevant parameters, such as type of patent, publication year, geographical location / patent jurisdiction, legal status, CPC symbols, type of industry, type of applicant and leading players (in terms of number of patents filed / granted). In addition, it features a patent valuation analysis which evaluates the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the patents filed / granted in this industry.
  • A detailed analysis of the partnerships and collaborations inked in the market, during the period 2018-2022, based on several parameters, such as year of partnership, type of partnership, most active player and region.
  • A detailed analysis of the current and future market based on blue ocean strategy, covering a strategic plan / guide for emerging players in this market to help unlock an uncontested market, featuring thirteen strategic tools that can help service providers to shift towards a blue ocean strategic market.
  • A detailed discussion on affiliated trends, key drivers and challenges, under a SWOT framework, which are likely to impact the industry’s evolution, along with a Harvey ball analysis, highlighting the relative effect of each SWOT parameter on the overall smart labels market for the healthcare and pharmaceutical applications.
The infographic highlights key innovators driving the smarket labels market via a Blue Ocean Strategy. Based on the pioneer-migrator-settler map, we have classified the smart label providers into different categories; a selection of pioneers are expected to provide valuable offerings to lead the market in the longer term This image highlights the likely growth scenarios for smart labels market. The market is expected to witness a growth of over 15% in the coming decade; the opportunity is likely to be well distributed across various types of technology and different geographical regions The image talks about the smart labels market forecast. In long term, the majority share of revenues is likely to be driven by players offering smart labels for primary packaging to prevent counterfeiting of drugs

One of the key objectives of the market report was to understand the primary growth drivers and estimate the future size of the smart labels market for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, over the forecast period. We have provided informed estimates on the evolution of the market in the short to mid-term and mid to long term, for the period 2022-2035. Additionally, our year-wise projections of the current and future opportunity have been segmented based on relevant parameters, such as [A] type of technology (RFID Labels, NFC Labels and other Labels), [B] type of packaging (primary packaging and secondary packaging), [C] type of primary packaging (vials, syringes, cartridges, ampoules, bottles and blister packs), [D] type of secondary packaging (boxes, cartons and pouches) and [E] key geographical regions (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, MENA and Latin America). In order to account for future uncertainties and to add robustness to our model, we have provided three market forecast scenarios, namely conservative, base and optimistic scenarios, representing different tracks of the industry’s growth.

All actual figures have been sourced and analyzed from publicly available information forums and primary research discussions. Financial figures mentioned in this report are in USD, unless otherwise specified.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is an example of smart labels?

Answer: A smart label comprises of printed information, a bar code identifier and a small transponder. At present, various types of smart labels, including radio frequency identification device labels (RFID), internet of things (IoT) labels, bluetooth labels and others, are being deployed across pharmaceutical and healthcare markets.

Question 2: How many companies are engaged in providing smart labels for healthcare and pharmaceutical sector?

Answer: Currently, more than 90 companies are providing smart labels for various applications, such as supply chain management, asset tracking, patient centricity, patient tracking, payment tracking, product authentication, clinical trial labelling, blood bag management, other application(s). In addition, with an aim to diversify their area of application and enhance their existing product portfolios, players engaged in providing smart pharmaceutical and healthcare labels are actively collaborating with other industry stakeholders.

Question 3: What is the deal trends in the smart labels within the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector?

Answer: Currently, service alliances are the most preferred type of partnership models adopted by the stakeholders in this industry. This is followed by acquisitions (including asset acquisitions), product commercialization and distribution agreements and service agreements.

Question 4: How many patents, related to smart labels for healthcare and pharmaceutical sector, have been filed / granted in the last few years?

Answer: Over 400 patents have been filed / granted in this industry. Owing to the growing demand for authentic and efficient drugs and ongoing efforts of players to integrate sophisticated features in the product design and affiliated technology has led to continuous pace of innovation in field of smart labels.

Question 5: What are the benefits of smart tags?

Answer: Smart tags offer various benefits, such as inventory management, medical device and asset tracking, patient tracking, product tracking, supply chain management and clinical trial labelling. It is worth highlighting that smart labels have the potential to act as anti-counterfeit solutions, collect data to enhance patient safety, improve quality and usability of the pharmaceutical product, and enhance the security and efficiency of the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Question 6: How big is the smart labels market for pharmaceutical and healthcare applications?

Answer: Smart labels market (for healthcare and pharmaceutical industry) was estimated to be USD 3.7 million in 2023.

Question 7: What is the smart labels market growth for pharmaceutical and healthcare applications?

Answer: Smart labels market (for healthcare and pharmaceutical industry) is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 16% during the forecast period.

Question 8: Which geographical segment has the highest growth rate in smart labels market?

Answer: Europe is likely to witness relatively higher growth rate than other regions during our forecast period. Asia Pacific and North America are expected to drive the overall market in the coming years.


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