CINCINNATI, OHIO Kao Collins Inc., a leading manufacturer of industrial inkjet inks, identified three regulatory trends in 2023 likely to impact the food, fashion, and pharmaceutical industries. Meeting compliance requirements offer opportunities for industrial inkjet printing and ink manufacturers.

The food packaging industry and textile industries face stiff regulatory headwinds. As for the pharmaceutical industry, it must continue executing the Drug Supply Chain Security Act passed almost ten years ago.

Chris Rogers, Vice President, Partnerships & Business Development at Kao Collins, said, “For all three industries, ink plays a crucial role in the supply chain as companies work to comply with the regulatory landscape.”

Trend: PFAS in Food Packaging

Legislators across the U.S. are zeroing in on chemicals in food packaging – specifically per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

California, for example, passed consumer safety legislation regulating PFAS. And other states have drafted laws to ban the so-called “forever” chemicals. Food companies will have no choice but to push manufacturers across their supply chains to meet compliance requirements.

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Trend: Environmental and Social Responsibility in Fashion

The textile industry, long a target of environmental groups, faces regulatory scrutiny in the EU and New York to curb the negative impact of clothing production. Manufacturers of inks for industrial direct-to-garment printing could increase the production of eco-friendly solutions. Water-based pigment textile inks offer greater print performance for printing on various materials.

Also, increased adoption of DTG printing reduces overproduction because inkjet systems make shorter runs more cost-effective. That reduces waste, another target of legislation.

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Trend: Pharma Compliance with DSCSA

The pharmaceutical industry faces the remaining push to comply with the Food and Drug Administration's Drug Supply Chain Security Act.

Ten years in the making, the law, intended to increase consumer safety, requires drug manufacturers to implement tracking of cartons and individual units across the supply chain.

As products change hands, the final stage requires an electronic exchange of unit-level tracking, often using printed 2d codes tied to a far-off database of product information. QR codes printed with high-performance inkjet systems offer a fast, cost-effective alternative to RFID technology.

Industrial inkjet printing plays an essential role in companies meeting compliance requirements for the three industries.

“While regulations create challenges and uncertainty, they also offer the industrial inkjet ink industry another opportunity to demonstrate the technology's benefits,” Rogers said.

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Kao Collins, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., provides solutions for the inkjet industry around the world, offering a full line of inks, services, and technical support. The company formulates and manufactures innovative inkjet inks for the leading thermal, piezo, and continuous printing systems. Since 1990 Kao Collins has helped customers and OEMs reduce costs and increase productivity with high-performance inks.


Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America, and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,500 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 35,000 people worldwide and has more than 120 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.