Plastic Cups Market Research

Part
01
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Part
01

Plastic Cups: U.S. Market Size

In our comprehensive research, we did not find any trusted data/information sources on the public domain exclusively addressing the market size of plastic cups in the US. This is largely based on the highly fragmented and diversified nature of the plastic cup market in the US, which has made it difficult for researchers to compile exact and exclusive reports. That being said, we found data/information addressing the global market size. On top of that, we found other importantly-related details such as the US market size of disposable cups (which is a general category that includes plastic cups), paper cups and plates, which included projections on the future of the US plastic cups market. Kindly find a deep dive of these findings below.

DISPOSABLE CUPS: CURRENT AND FUTURE MARKET SIZE

The global sales of disposable cups were valued at close to US$ 12 billion in 2016 and the market size is projected to reach more than US$ 20 billion by 2026. A separate report supports this projection by stating that the global disposable cups market was valued about US$ 12.1 billion in 2016 and the projections are that the market will reach a valuation of about US$ 20.5 billion by the end of 2024 (translating to an annual growth rate of 6.1% over the forecast period 2017-2024). This, according to the researchers, is owed to factors such as emergence of new food/beverages industries and population growth.
The most popular and often used brands of disposable cups and plates in the US are detailed in this 2017 research, with 93.66 million Americans reportedly using the Store Brand.
For both practical and purposeful purposes, you can find various types of disposable cups on this link, with plastic cups being one of the varieties.

PLASTIC/PAPER CUPS AND PLATES: CURRENT AND FUTURE MARKET SIZE

The US paper cups and paper plates market reached a value of US$ 104 billion in 2016, and 218.02 million Americans used disposable cups and plates in 2017. The US paper cups and paper plates market is expected to reach the value of US$ 119 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 2% between 2017 and 2022. Some major players in the US paper cups and paper plates market include: International Paper, Dixie, Dart, Hefty and Huhtamaki.
Meanwhile, a 2016 report states that the “demand for cups and lids in the US is projected to expand 3.9 percent per year to $10.6 billion in 2020, driven by above average gains for food packaging cups and continued growth for food service revenues.” This point is asserted by a similar report that projects the flourishing of the plastic cups and lids market on the basis of “rapid growth in the food & beverage packaging such as coffee, hot drinks, milk and dairy products, sports and energy drinks, and alcoholic drinks.”

CONCLUSION

The US paper cups and paper plates market reached a value of US$ 104 billion in 2016, and is projected to reach an approximate value of US$ 119 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 2% between 2017 and 2022. The “demand for cups and lids in the US is projected to expand 3.9 percent per year to $10.6 billion in 2020, driven by above average gains for food packaging cups and continued growth for food service revenues.” Some major players in the US paper cups and paper plates market whom you can expect to dominate the industry include: International Paper, Dixie, Dart, Hefty and Huhtamaki.

Part
02
of three
Part
02

Plastic Cup Manufacturers

A report from Statista gives the four most often used brands of disposable cups and plates in the US from 2011 to 2017. The data was computed from U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS).
Between the store brands and other brands, the four most often used brands in 2017 were Dixie, Hefty, Solo, and Chinet. The manufacturers of these brands are Georgia-Pacific, Reynolds, Dart, and Huhtamaki respectively.

After an extensive search of the company websites, their brand websites, trade associations, media reports, and market reports, there is very little information specific to their plastic cup manufacturing business and capabilities, and there is no publicly available information on sales/revenues/market share from plastic cups for any of the manufacturers. Below are details of the findings.

Major players in the U.S. plastic cup manufacturing industry

Georgia-Pacific
Georgia-Pacific, makers of Dixie cups, the most widely used brand in US with 50.94 million users in 2017, is one of the world’s major manufacturers of pulp, tissue, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals. Their household brands include Brawny paper towels, Quilted Northern bath tissue, and Dixie cups and tableware.

They offer a wide range of Dixie paper and plastic cups in various designs, materials and sizes. Their food service products include cups, plates, bowls, napkins and cutlery. Georgia-Pacific is listed in the Converters section of the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), the North American trade association for the plastic cup industry.

Reynolds Consumer Products
Reynolds Consumer Products, makers of Hefty cups, the second most widely used brand in US with 40.3 million users in 2017, has its headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois. It offers a wide range of products for prepping, cooking, storage and disposal.

The Hefty brand products include food and storage bags, as well as disposable cups and plates. The Reynolds and Hefty brands have been in use in the US for more than 30 years and they were merged as Reynolds Consumer Products in 2010.
Although the Reynolds Consumer Products is not listed directly in the Foodservice Packaging Institute, Pactiv, which was acquired by Reynolds Group Holdings Limited (RGHL) in 2010, the parent company of Reynolds Consumer Products, is listed as a member of the association.

Dart Container Corporation
Dart, makers of Solo cups, the third most widely used brand in US with 35.11 million users in 2017, was established in 1937 by William F. Dart from a small machine shop in Mason, Michigan. It manufactured products such as plastic key cases, steel tape measures, children’s toys, and identification tags for the military. For the past 50 years, Dart has been producing food service packaging materials for the food packaging industries, as well as the retail/consumer industries.

The most significant expansion took place in 2012 when Dart acquired the Solo Cup Company, doubling the company size and greatly increased the diversity of their products. The Solo Cup Company is the maker of the iconic Red SOLO Cup.

Dart Container currently has over 40 manufacturing and distribution locations in the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. They manufacture more than 4,000 products, including cups, dinnerware, and cutlery from various materials including plastic, paper, and foam.
Dart is listed in the Converters section of the Foodservice Packaging Institute.

Huhtamaki, Inc.
Huhtamaki North America, makers of the Chinet brand, the fourth most widely used brand in US with 14.99 million users in 2017, manufactures technologically-advanced packaging products and disposable tableware from plastic, shaped paperboard, and molded fiber.

Huhtamaki, Inc. Has its headquarters in De Soto, Kansas. The Chinet brand was created on a firm foundation of American innovation for 90 years. Their products include Chinet Classic White plates, cups, bowls, and napkins. Huhtamaki is listed in the Converters section of the Foodservice Packaging Institute.

Conclusion

Georgia-Pacific, Reynolds, Dart, and Huhtamaki are four major players in the U.S. plastic cup manufacturing industry. Their brands; Dixie, Hefty, Solo, and Chinet were the most widely used plastic cup products in 2017.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Plastic Cup Market: Sustainability

OVERVIEW

There are many sustainable/environmentally-friendly products on offer in the United States plastic cup manufacturing market. Genpak, Pactiv, Berry Plastics, Dart and Eco Products are companies that offer biodegradable, recyclable and compostable products. Examples of such products are Bare® by Solo® Eco-Forward® by Dart container, Earthchoice collection by Pactiv, and Clear Plastic Drinking Cups made by environmentally preferable PET material by Genpak.

Types of environmentally-friendly products

According to the Future Market Insights, "the global market for disposable cups is expected to reach $21.2 billion by the end of 2026." In order to protect the environment, companies that manufacture plastic cups have a number of sustainable products on offer to reduce the impact of disposable cups. Below are some types offered by these companies.

Compostable.
Recyclable.
Biodegradable.

For this project, we focused on cups and a few of them stated that they are sustainable (biodegradable), and some were compostable (a variation of biodegradable). Recyclable is when used or waste materials are treated by a process, so that they can be reused as something new. Biodegradable is referred to a product's ability to break down safely and quickly into raw materials of nature, which can effectively disappear into the environment. There are two forms of this; solids biodegrading into the soil (also known as compostable) and liquids biodegrading into water. Compostable is when a product can be placed into a composition of decaying biodegradable materials and over time, it will turn into nutrient rich material. Compostable is limited to solid materials only.

Compostable

Genpak is a company that offers biodegradable food containers, tableware, cups and plates. They claim that their cups are either fully compostable or use less raw resources to produce them. Specifically, their Crystal Choice clear plastic drinking cups are cited as "fully BPI certified compostable." They contain 15 percent post-consumer recycled material.

Another example of a compostable product is the GreenStripe® Cold Cups, available from Eco Products. They are said to be 100 percent compostable.

Recyclable

Bare® Eco‐Forward® RPET Clear Cups are manufactured by Dart container. They are made of crack–resistant PET, and are "20 percent" post-consumer recycled PET, which comprises mostly PET beverage bottles.

The company Berry Plastics offers clear cups that are produced by 100 percent recyclable polypropylene.

Eco Products offers the BlueStripe™ Cold Cups which are made from 25 percent post-consumer recycled PET bottles.

Biodegradable

Eco Products have a great range of sustainable and environment-friendly products. Their World Art™ Renewable Cold Cup is produced by 100 percent renewable resources.

The company Pactiv offer a range of products in a collection titled, EarthChoice, which are claimed to be sustainable and eco-friendly. Their 10 oz. clear PET cups is specific example. The individual Earthchoice products on the Pactiv website contain further information.

Conclusion

There are a number of products on offer that are environmentally-friendly in the United States plastic cup manufacturing business. Examples include, Bare® by Solo® Eco-Forward® by Dart container, which is a recyclable product. The full EarthChoice collection by Pactiv is biodegradable, and the Clear Plastic Drinking Cups by Genpak are fully compostable.
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