Disposable Cups Market

2021 Analysis and Review: Disposable Cups Market by Capacity – Less than 250 ml, 250 to 750 ml and Above 750 ml for 2021 – 2031

Disposable Cups Market Snapshot

Disposable cups market is estimated to register high growth with the overall valuation forecast to reach US$ 10.6 Bn in 2021. FMI also has projected disposable cups demand to increase at 5.7% CAGR between 2021 and 2031.

Despite stagnant sales amid COVID-19, disposable cups demand will surge from 2021 onwards, albeit gradually. Global consumption of disposable cups is forecast to reach 462.2 Bn Units by the end of 2021. The market has been projected to expand at 5.3% CAGR over the forecast period in terms of volume.

Key Points Covered in Disposable Cups Market Survey

  • Market Estimates and Forecast 2014-2031
  • Key Drivers and Restraints Impacting Market Growth
  • Segment-wise, Country-wise, and Region-wise Analysis
  • Competition Mapping and Benchmarking
  • Market Share Analysis
  • Key Product Innovations and Regulatory Climate
  • COVID-19 Impact on Disposable Cups Market and How to Navigate
  • Recommendation on Key Winning Strategies

2014-2020 Disposable Cups Market Outlook Compared to 2021-2031 Forecast

Driven by the growth of the food and beverages industry across the globe, disposable cups market is anticipated to rise at 5.7% CAGR from 2021 to 2031. Disposable cups are considered most cost-effective and sustainable packaging solutions.

They are available in different varieties, sizes, and shapes. They are safe, moisture-resistant, and excellent for serving hot or cold beverages. Disposable cups are lightweight and cost-effective. Some of them are even insulated to keep the hot liquid warm and cold beverage cooler for a longer duration.

Due to the rising concerns about health and hygiene and to avoid the spread of infection, one-time-use disposable cups are gaining impressive sales opportunities. Disposable cup's packaging as tamper-proof, which keeps the food safe from contamination during transportation.

Fast food joints, cafeterias, and food malls therefore opt for disposable cups as a reliable, secure, and convenient packaging solution with the quickest delivery to the customers, augmenting disposable cups market. Disposable cups with customized digital printing can offer an excellent marketing channel and enhance the brand image.

Disposable plastic cups made of PLA plant starch and corn plastic come in various green and eco-friendly options. 100% compostable, sustainable, and disposable cups are made from renewable resources, which required less energy to produce than a traditional paper cup.

Thus, the increasing demand for recyclable, biodegradable cups to serve hot and cold food and beverages could boost disposable cups market.

Will Insulated Coating in Disposable Cups Emerge as Chief Growth Driver?

Disposable cups made from paper in their natural form are not the best insulator.  The additional insulating coating layer on disposable cups augments the stiffness and rigidity of cups.  Insulated disposable cups are designed with air pocket insulation between two layers of paper and plastic to ensure the cup's inside contents temperature does not affect the outer layer.  They keep the hot liquid warm and cold beverage colder for a long duration.  They also provide a safe, comfortable, and non-slip feel.

Polyethylene-coated disposable cups are smoother, moisture-resistant, and safe, are excellent for serving hot or cold beverages. Single or double additional poly layer coating on the cups offers stiffness and durability. Furthermore, similar to poly-coated, the wax-coating on the cups with extra insulation provides added rigidity and protects the cups from leakage and spillage.

Wax-coated disposable cups are primarily helpful in a cold beverage, ideal for serving milkshakes, ice tea, lemonade, etc. The exterior heat-insulated design protects hands from heat and also provides an easy grip to hold the cups.  Therefore, the insulation performance of disposable cups is of significance to supply hot beverages and drinks that could augment disposable cups market.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Disposable Cups to Remain Highly Sought-after

The increasing use of sustainable and eco-friendly foodservice packaging is a primary focus among the stakeholders in the foodservice value chain.  Nowadays, customers’ sentiments, concern for the environment, and heightened awareness about saving nature have changed their preference dramatically.

With the implementation of Government policies, banning fossil-based plastics and promoting sustainable products and continued efforts of the key players to promote a solid eco-centric image among consumers will push sales of disposable cups. 

The younger generation is willing to alter their buying preferences, favoring the most sustainable packaging. Eco-friendly disposable cups are made from food-grade material such as bagasse, and bamboo is biodegradable. The paper-based disposable cups where effective recycling of used waste cups remains elusive.

Production of bioplastics is gaining momentum. Disposable plastic cups made of PLA plant starch and corn plastic come in various green and eco-friendly options. 100% compostable, sustainable, and disposable cups are made from renewable resources, which required less energy to produce than a traditional paper cup.

What Is the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Disposable Cups Sales?

The COVID-19 outbreak has hampered the food supply chain; resulted in the implementation of travel restriction and lockdown, which slowed down sales in the food and beverages industry. In the wake of the pandemic, many hotels and restaurants closed their dining rooms for the customers.

They pivoted food takeout and delivery by using an online food ordering platform to keep the customers and the staff safe. The lockdown and shutdown of cafeterias, restaurants and retail food outlets for the public affected disposable cups market. Apart from this, various fast-food giants, quick-service restaurants, and food operators switched to single-use disposable cups owing to public hygiene, safety, and prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.

According to Foodservice Packaging Industry, consumers’ preference for sanitary and clean single-use foodservice items increased during the pandemic. Disposable paper cups can be easily discarded and recycled by avoiding the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, the growing public concern about health, cleanliness, and safety during pandemics increases disposable cups market growth.

Country-wise Insights

Why is the Demand for Eco-Friendly Disposable Cups Market Accelerating in the U.S.?

According to the study, the U.S. is estimated to account ~88% value share of the North American market in 2031. According to American Forest & Paper Association, disposable paper cups and paper-based packaging in the United States are made with wood fibers from sustainably managed forests and made from 100 percent renewable resources.

The United States is one of the leading fast-food markets in the world. The eco-friendly biodegradable cups made of plant fiber cups are safer and healthier, recommended by various coffee shops and restaurants.

Disposable cups are popular and widely used in facilities such as commercial centers, offices, hospitals, metro and railway stations, etc.  The paper cups are eco-friendly, recyclable, and considered green paper cups commit to sustainable business practices to protect the environment.

These cups have been around in 1918 during a flu epidemic in America, as many people used disposable cups for promoting public hygiene and avoid infection. Starbucks, the leading national retailer, increased access to recycling programs in the country, awarded the customers with discount coupons when they bring their individual cups.

According to the National Coffee Association USA, the COVID-19 has changed coffee consumption habits as people preferred drinking coffee at home. The compostable single-serve and consumer-driven sustainability trends influenced disposable cups market. Therefore, consuming tea or coffee on the go helps hectic lifestyles a little more enjoyable. Increasing fast-food consumption provides the option to enjoy the beverages during travel, boosting the sales of disposable cups market in the United States.

How Is the Popularity of Coffee Chains Affecting Disposable Cups Market in the U.K.?

Disposable cups market in the U.K. is expected to hold a market share of 16.1% within Europe by the year 2021. According to the Parliament Publications on Disposable Packaging Coffee Cups, the U.K. coffee industry is increasing, that almost half of coffee and hot drinks are served in disposable cups.  In the U.K., more than four times more coffee shops today as were in 2000, and nearly one person out of five visit the coffee shop every day.

The U.K. has on-the-go coffee culture, outdoor coffee drink preference, and rising adoption of quick-service restaurants due to increased working hours and busy lifestyles.

Starbucks and Costa Coffee are the two largest coffee chains in the U.K., have established an in-store recycling system for coffee cups. As per the Parliament publication report, the U.K. generates 30000 tonnes of disposable cups waste each year, accounting for 0.1% of total U.K. waste and 0.7% of total package waste.

Foodservice Packaging Association welcomes the proposal of mandatory take back pf the used paper cups by the coffee retailers. This paper recovery scheme is facilitated by the Paper cup recovery and recycling group (PCRRG). Hence, bio-degradable, recyclable, and non-toxic disposable cups are preferred by consumers. The ban on plastic and the promotion of sustainable paper cups will anticipate the demand for disposable cups market in the U.K.

How is India's Growing Food Service and Fast-Food Supply Chain Boosting Disposable Cups Sales?

In 2021, India is estimated to account for 45.7% of sales in South Asia due to the growing number of cafeterias, tea shops, and quick-service restaurants that are increasing the demand for disposable cups in India.

In India, disposable paper cups are widely used for consuming food and beverages such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks.  Consumers prefer disposable cups for saving time and energy on cleaning and easily discard after use.

Hence, disposable cups are extensively used in big events, weddings, and parties in India.  These cups undergo extreme heat during production, sterilizing the product and ensuring safe and reliable drinks consumption. The Indian market exhibits the growing growth of disposable cups due to growing fast food service outlets and rising online drinks and beverage orders.  Disposable cups are biodegradable and can be decomposed in less time compared to plastic or foam cups.

According to Food Packaging Forum, in India, from 1st July 2022 ban on single-use plastic items, including plates, cups, cutlery, would be extended. Hence, the rising awareness among the consumers about sanitation and cleanliness and growing concern about using environment-friendly products could bolster the demand for disposable cups market in India.

How is the Demand for On-the-go and Ready-to-Drink Trend Affecting Disposable Cups Sales in Australia?

Disposable cups market in Australia will register growth at 3.0% CAGR during the forecast period of 2021-2031. Australian coffee culture is unique and most advanced globally, and the people encourage coffee owners to make personalized and unique coffee with good taste and quality. The growing trend of on-the-go coffee and out-of-home drink preference of the consumers increase the demand for disposable cups market.

According to Clean up Australia, approximately 2.7 Mn paper coffee cups are disposed of and the largest contributor of litter. Therefore, biodegradable and compostable takeaway and reusable cups are expected to significant growth in Australia.

Why do Disposable Cups have Remarkable Growth in China?

Disposable cups market in China will register 6.6% CAGR during the forecast period. China is now becoming the world’s most promising coffee-drinking nation turning from a traditionally tea-drinking country.

Lifestyle choice of consumers to explore the new drinks and expansion plans of international coffee chain brands as Starbucks, Costa coffee will fuel the high demand for disposable cups in China.

The grab-and-go and instant coffee for freshly brewed products are becoming popular, as the taste and quality are essential. According to Trade Map, in 2020, China exported 927 Th. Tonnes of disposable cups. Therefore, the growing digital transformation trend, supermarkets, and coffee chains in China will enhance disposable cups market.

Category-wise Insights

Why is the Demand for Less than 250 ml Capacity Type Disposable Cups Increasing?

The less than 250 ml capacity disposable cups is forecast to account for a leading share of around 51.1% in the market by 2031. These cups are ideal for everyday office use to serve coffee and tea.  Disposable cups are convenient to use and serve beverages in. They are excellent options for serving soft drinks, juices, soups, and drinking water. 

Less than 250 ml capacity disposable cups are smaller in size, easily disposable, biodegradable, and can be recycled without harming the environment.  These cups with added insulation coating are safe for drinking any liquid food products. These cups retain the food quality, taste, and hygiene, while protecting the contents from outside pollution and dust particles. 

Thus, the rising demand for using single-use disposable cups due to hectic lifestyles will enhance the demand for less than 250 ml capacity disposable cups.

Why Are Paper Disposable Cups Emerging as Preferred Consumer Choice?

The global disposable cups market is experiencing an upward growth trend due to the steady growth rate of paper cups, which consists of a 48.6% market share by 2031. Disposable paper cups are available in different varieties, sizes, and shapes.

These paper cups are safer to use for both cold and hot beverages, as they do not contain any toxic material.  With global warming and environmental deterioration, eco-friendly paper disposable cups are considered the best option for serving both hot and cold beverages. 

Paper cups are produced from sugarcane fibers (bagasse) that are biodegradable and can be decomposed very easily.  These cups have emerged as preferred food serving solution as stringent bans are imposed on single-use plastic consumption.

Will Food and Beverages Industry Remain the Dominant End User?

The food segment will showcase the highest Basis points 140 of current value, during the forecast period. Disposable cups demand in the food sector is showcasing a remarkable growth as cost-effective alternative to glass or ceramic cups.

The rising on-the-go coffee culture, grab and go, and the preference for ready-to-drink beverages will fuel the demand in the food and beverage sector. Considering this, the market also will gain from the expansion of food service, quick service restaurant, and cafeteria.

How will the Market Gain from Food Retail Industry Expansion?

The food retail segment is forecast to account for a share of 60.7% by 2031 due to the swift in the e-commerce industry; the growing numbers of supermarkets, hypermarkets, and giant food stores will bolster disposable cups market. 

Online food ordering is becoming more convenient for consumers due to busy lifestyles and hectic work schedules. Branded disposable cups with logo, tagline, and color scheme have emerged as a cost-effective medium for mobile and moving business advertisement. It makes a massive amount of publicity and promotion of brand with low costs.

Disposable cups are safe and convenient for takeaway food and beverages. Various food malls, food joints, and big retail chains are focusing on environment-friendly and biodegradable packaging to protect the environment. 

The food sector is exhibiting demand for 100% compostable and recyclable disposable cups to meet customers' expectations and preferences.

Competitive Landscape

Companies operating in disposable cups market are aiming at strategic partnerships with other manufacturers to expand their product manufacturing capabilities, and focusing on innovation and sustainability.

  • In April 2021, Greiner Packaging International GmbH launched new sustainable r-PET cups for beverages, accommodating economic, environmental, and social considerations.
  • In November 2020, Berry Global Inc. launched Bantam™ Drink Cups, an innovative and made from recyclable polypropylene.
  • In July 2019, Huhtamaki Oyj partnered with First Mile a leading recycling company. The First Mile Company will collect disposable cups from customers from various coffee chains, restaurants, and others.

Scope of Report



Forecast Period


Historical Data Available for


Market Analysis

US$ Million for Value and Million Units for Volume

Key Regions Covered

North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East & Africa

Key Countries Covered

US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy,  France, U.K., Spain, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, GCC Countries,  Japan, South Korea, India, China, and Australia

Key Segments Covered

Material Type, Capacity, Application, End User and Region

Key Companies Profiled

      Global Players

  • Berry Global Group, Inc.
  • Huhtamaki Oyj
  • Georgia-Pacific LLC
  • Genpak, LLC
  • Pactiv LLC
  • Dart Container Corporation
  • Greiner Packaging International GmbH
  • Churchill Container
  • FrugalPac Limited
  • Grupo Phoenix Capital Limited
  • Letica Corporation
  • F Bender Limited
  • ConverPack Inc.
  • Stanpac Inc.
  • Cosmoplast Industrial Company (L.L.C.)

Report Coverage

Market Forecast, Company Share Analysis, Competition Intelligence, DROT Analysis, Market Dynamics and Challenges, and Strategic Growth Initiatives

Customization & Pricing

Available upon Request

Key Questions Answered in the Report

  • What is the current valuation of disposable cups market?

    Disposable cups market is expected to surpass a valuation of US$ 10.6 Bn by 2021.

  • At what rate did disposable cups market expand in the last eight years?

    Disposable cups market exhibited steady YoY growth of 4.4% in the last eight years from 2014 to 2021.

  • What is the demand outlook for disposable cups market?

    Disposable cups demand will rise in beverages and food retail sectors among end-users. As per FMI, the market will register a CAGR of 5.7% between 2021 and 2031.

  • What are the key trends prevailing in disposable cups market?

    The online food and beverages order, the rapid growth of quick-service restaurants and fast-food supply chains, and the consumer's preference for quick food delivery will create attractive opportunities for disposable cups market. Additionally, shift in consumers' preference for one-time use of disposable cups owing to hygiene and health concerns will create opportunities for disposable cups market growth.

  • What are the key factors driving disposable cups sales?

    Disposable cups that come with insulation coating, offer better sturdiness and. Therefore these leak-proof, moisture resistant, and stable disposable cups are excellent in serving hot and cold beverages. It retains the beverage's taste, flavor, and quality intact by protecting the drinks from outside pollution, contamination, and dust particles. Due to the rising concern about environmental protection, consumers will favor biodegradable and recyclable disposable cups.

  • What is the East Asia disposable cups market outlook?

    East Asia market is estimated to hold 21.2% value share in the global disposable cups market, in 2021.

  • What is the cumulative share of top five companies in disposable cups market?

    The top five companies operating in disposable cups market are Pactiv LLC, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Huhtamaki Oyj, Dart Container Corporation, and Berry Global Group, Inc. These players are estimated to hold nearly 20% to 25% share in the global disposable cups market.

  • At what rate will disposable cups market grow in South Asia?

    FMI has forecast the South Asia disposable cups market to exhibit a CAGR of 7.5% between 2021 and 2031.

  • Which are the top 5 countries exhibiting high demand for disposable cups market?

    The U.S., China, India, Japan, and Germany are among leading markets for disposable cups, exhibiting consistently high demand.

  • At what rate will Japan disposable cups market grow?

    As per FMI, the Japan disposable cups market is expected to rise at 6.2% CAGR between 2021 and 2031

Disposable Cups Market by Category

By Material Type:

  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Foam

By Capacity:

  • Less than 250 ml
  • 250 to 750 ml
  • Above 750 ml

By Application:

  • Food
    • Spreads
    • Sausages & Dressings
    • Confectionary
    • Dairy
      • Ice Cream
      • Yogurt
      • Drinks
  • Beverages
    • Hot
    • Cold

By End User:

  • Food Serve
  • Food Retail

By Region:

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Middle East and Africa
  • East Asia
  • South Asia
  • Oceania

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