Sales of disposable cups are set to rise

Global sales of disposable cups will total 600 billion units in 2019, representing a 3.3% increase from 2018, according to a latest research study from Future Market Insights.

The disposable cups market is projected to grow at 4% CAGR during the period, 2019-2029, driven by affordability and easy availability along with increasing consumption of non-alcoholic beverages, which has led to proliferation of café retail chains and international coffee shops, especially in developing countries.

Increasing use of paper

Due to growing prominence of the ‘throw away culture’, disposable cups are continuously making their way into landfills and marine environment, subsequently raising potential concerns among environmental groups and consumers adopting ‘zero-waste’ culture. Manufacturers who are keeping the innovation quotient high by adopting sustainable solutions are likely to be rewarded in the long run.

As the use of plastic as a raw material continues to face scrutiny from consumers as well as environmental organisations, manufacturers are focusing on increasing the production of paper disposable cups. As paper cups contributed half of the total sales of disposable cups in 2018, manufacturers are specifically focused in this category.

Disposable cups have long been an ideal promotional or branding tool for beverage companies such as The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo, Inc., according to the study’s analysis. Moreover, rapid normalisation of disposability in line with the emergence of ‘convenience’ and ‘on-the-go’ trends, especially in urban environments, goes hand in hand with increasing demand for single-use packaging models such as disposable cups, which remains among the primary boosters to market growth.

Non-alcoholic and dairy products driving growth

According to the study analyst, non-alcoholic beverages, including both carbonated and non-carbonated, will remain the largest and fastest-growing application category for disposable cups.

While the beverage sector continues to influence the growth strategies, manufacturers are targeted towards capitalising on the dairy sector. The report analyst forecasts that the consumption of disposable cups in the dairy space for ice-creams, yogurt, and others will show an increase of 3.3% year-on-year in 2019.

“As aesthetics drive desirability among consumers and fulfill marketing quota, manufacturers are placing their focus on adoption of digital printing technology to introduce both aesthetic and informative labels in their products,” said the report analyst. “Nearly 8 in 10 disposable cups sold in 2018 were printable, and will continue to gain relatively high traction as compared to non-printable disposable cups.

Food retail sector takes lions share

The consumption of disposable cups across various food retail sectors continues to be on an upward swing, representing a revenue share of 60% in 2018. Within the food retail industry, the adoption of disposable cups by convenience stores will account for 37% in 2019, while growing application in supermarkets is likely to result in increased market shares.

According to the study, disposable cups worth US$ 5 billion were sold in foodservice sector in 2018. As both ‘dining out’ and ‘takeaway’ cultures gain prominence worldwide, on the account of rapid shift toward urban living and fast-paced lifestyles, disposable cups sales are set to remain high across the foodservice industry.

While North America (28%), Europe (25%), and East Asia (17%) remain leading markets for disposable cups, South Asia is set to exhibit relatively high sales of disposable cups in 2019. In leading markets, strong establishment of end-use industries continue to drive the sales at steady rate, while rapid expansion of QSRs and foodservice outlets lined with increased income levels of consumers will provide potential growth prospects of the disposable cups market players in South Asia.

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