The paper cups market size was valued at USD 12.589 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 17.368 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 3.64% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Paper cups are disposable cups used for consuming food and beverages such as tea, coffee, soft drinks, and soups. The most popular plastic resin, polyethylene, is used to coat these cups, enhancing their performance and durability by preventing flavor-retaining absorption of condensed moisture. As paper cups do not need to be cleaned and can be thrown away after use, consumers today use them to save time and effort with their hectic lifestyles and busy schedules. The expanding global trend of takeaway services and ready-to-eat food has also impacted the demand for paper cups.
|Market Size||USD 17.368 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Customers are searching for the convenience of on-the-go, single-serve, and functional packaging to support their refreshment intake patterns in addition to more active schedules, busy lifestyles, and demanding expectations. The global beverage business is expanding and becoming more dynamic, and it is anticipated that this will significantly influence the market for paper cup carriers. Some significant corporations now provide various paper cup holders to accommodate the rising demand for on-the-go beverage consumption in many areas. Additionally, the availability of ordering beverages for delivery to homes and takeout has become more popular.
Similarly, cup carriers that are stylish and durable are in high demand. Demand for on-the-go food categories like beverages and milkshakes is rising as mobility increases and more people start traveling again. Such product sales typically depend on consumers leaving their homes to buy single-serve packs and strongly correlate with out-of-home consumption. According to National Coffee Association research, 40% of American consumers will own a single-cup coffee brewing device by 2020, up from 29% in 2016. These trends should accelerate the expansion of the market under study.
Paper cups, unlike the majority of paper items, cannot be recycled since they include as low as 5% plastic coating on each cup. They can contain liquid because of this without spilling it all over the place. Additionally, it explains why they cannot break down into a pulp and be recycled into paper. The majority of businesses have adopted zero-waste policies. Still, they need to put those policies into practice; one of the major factors in climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. Modern gear is required since recycling is hampered by steps like chemically sterilizing the paper cup and separating the plastic liner from it. This is anticipated to significantly increase the company's operational costs and decrease its profit. Recycling these paper cups poses enormous indirect damage to the environment, which makes it difficult for the market under study to expand.
Due to their capacity to preserve the freshness of beverage items and increase product shelf life, paper cups are predicted to become a common form of packaging. As a result, disposable paper cups have become a widely used, reliable alternative to other forms, and it is anticipated that demand and consumer acceptance will continue to grow. The rising beverage consumption has inspired manufacturers to develop new barrier and seal technologies for paper cups and technological breakthroughs to keep food fresh throughout the supply chain. Using biodegradable composite materials in paper cup production will boost the market because it will considerably increase the product's shelf life and broaden the range of people who can benefit from it. For instance, a biodegradable kraft, bamboo, or enamel paper board with PE liner makes up the JcFoodpack Bio paper Soup cup. Typical usage includes hot soups, porridge, spaghetti, frozen foods like ice cream or yogurt, and other munchies.
The global paper cups market is divided into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.68% during the forecast period. The rising awareness among consumers and favorable regulations from the government is anticipated to drive the demand for biodegradable packaging in North America during the forecast period. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the United States generates almost 80 million metric tons of packaging waste each year. About half of the packaging waste in the United States comes from food and beverage products. The agency mentioned that food corporations, like Nestle and Unilever, generate the majority of plastic waste. Also, Canada is facing a growing plastic waste challenge, and it is calling for action on plastic waste reduction. It has gained traction over the past years.
Moreover, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada’s current plastic waste management system proves to be a lost economic opportunity, representing a loss of nearly CAD 8 billion, which is expected to increase to over CAD 11 billion by 2030, thus acting as a daunting economic and environmental threat. Kroger Co. plans to eliminate plastic shopping bags from its 2,800 company-owned supermarkets by 2025. The supermarket giant distributes 6 billion single-use bags per year. Kroger said it would first offer paper bags instead of plastic and sell the reusable bags for roughly USD 1 to USD 2, depending on the market, to get all customers to adopt reusable bags over the next seven years.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.58% during the forecast period. Paper cups may be recycled and made into new paper products all around Europe, according to Europe Paper Packaging Alliances, making them a component of the circular economy. Members of EPPA are dedicated to raising recycling rates through cooperation with other parties in the value chain. Such government activities will encourage the use of paper cups among the local populace. Europeans used 35 billion cups of coffee annually, with one kilogram producing 130 single-shot coffees. This suggests that one of the main driving forces behind the acceptance was the requirement for paper cups for coffee consumption while on the road. The Dutch also aim to stop using plastic coffee cups in 2023 to comply with EU requirements. While ready-to-eat (RTE) meal packaging will be prohibited in 2024, this will also change the trend toward using paper cups for RTEs. The market for serving items in biodegradable packaging is also seeing new firms enter the region.
The need for paper cup packaging in Central and Southeast Asia is primarily driven by the relatively dense population and increased away-from-home consumption. For instance, the use of paper for packaging in the nation in May 2021 was 404,711 tons, slightly down (4%) from the previous month, according to data released by the Vietnam Pulp and Paper Association (VPPA). Due to Vietnam's solid economic position, various paper Cups packaging vendors doing business in the area are optimistic about their prospects in 2021 and the future. Additionally, due to ongoing urbanization, it is predicted by SSI Securities Joint Stock Company that in Vietnam, paper packaging demand will rise by 12% between 2021 and 2025. These are the advantages that have fueled the expansion of paper cup packaging. The need for paper cups has been supported in the area by QSRs. For instance, Starbucks introduced a new range of eco-friendly packaging, including reusable cold beverage paper cups and coffee grind straws. Such campaigns to encourage recyclable and reusable paper cups will spur market expansion in the years to come.
Packing paper cups in Argentina experienced a challenging period as the pandemic-related economic crisis worsened. Low- and middle-income social groups saw significant purchasing power declines, severely limiting innovation and luxury packaging prospects. Additionally, it saw a dramatic reduction in earnings, an increase in unemployment, and a decrease in consumption, which impacted the different categories' packaging types and sizes. The sluggish economy of Latin America means that the region's overall package growth will be gradual. Still, flexible plastic packaging will be able to flourish because of its accessibility and practicality (source The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies).
Based on cup type, the global paper cups market is bifurcated into hot paper cups and cold paper cups.
The hot paper cups segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.82% during the forecast period. Hot drinks, including coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, are packaged in hot paper cups. It is a thin, partially coated PE resin lining that is heat-sealable, anti-blocking, and thermally insulating. Hot paper cups are ideal for use in coffee shops and other places that sell hot beverages. Many businesses are creating new marketing strategies employing paper cups in response to the demand for hot beverages during the holiday season. Most companies utilize different liners in hot paper cups to maintain the beverage's temperature, which has no adverse effects on the environment.
Cold paper cups are frequently used for cold beverages like juice, water, and soft drinks. They contain moisture barrier bags, and the wax-coated paper provides additional rigidity, defense against leaks and absorption, and insulation. Similar to poly-coated cups, these are available in various designs and sizes, and many have tightly rolled rims for worry-free, leak-proof drinking. Wax-coated paper cups are ideal for serving sodas, iced tea, lemonade, milkshakes, and other cold drinks since they are designed to hold cold liquids. Corporations are strategically expanding their product range. Additionally, it is anticipated that investments in the dairy sector will continue during the forecast period, which would increase demand for packaging options for cold paper cups.
Based on the end-user industry, the global paper cups market is bifurcated into quick-service restaurants, institutional, and other end-users.
The quick-service restaurants' segment owns the highest market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.21% during the forecast period. The need for quick-service restaurants has increased due to the growing tendency to eat out in metropolitan centers across all economic categories and geographic locations without requiring a special occasion. People are increasingly choosing to eat outside as part of their leisure time or shopping trips. Furthermore, during the study period, this trend was particularly obvious among millennials between the ages of 25 and 40. Additionally, individuals are dining out more regularly to try a broader range of cuisines since their tastes are changing due to increased exposure to different lifestyles and cultures. The need for paper cup packaging will dramatically expand due to these trends. Due to partnerships and investments made by quick-service restaurants in various food chains, there may be an increased demand for paper cup packaging.
The institutional segment takes offices and educational institutions into account. These markets typically place more importance on packaging's ability to be recycled and biodegraded than its ability to reuse. This highlights how customers' worries about the long-term effects of packaging waste on the environment are growing. Over 1.3 million coffee cups are consumed on the University of Saskatchewan campus during the academic year. That adds up to close to 8000 cups daily. Paper cups are more commonly used in these colleges due to the large amount of coffee consumed there and the ease with which paper can be recycled. According to a study by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, nearly two-thirds (61%) of European workers reported drinking coffee at work. The employees think it encourages imagination, and focus and even guards against working accidents. Due to its eco-friendly features and lack of dangerous components, this may increase the use of paper cups for coffee consumption at work.
Based on wall type, the global paper cups market is bifurcated into single wall paper cups, double wall paper cups, and triple wall paper cups.
The double wall paper cups segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.05% during the forecast period. The demand for double-wall paper cups is anticipated to increase due to the food and beverage sectors' constant expansion and worries about product safety during transportation. End consumers favor double-wall paper cups because of their toughness and rigidity, which drives up demand. The base paper for these cups is known as the cupboard, and it is made using unique multilayered ply paper machines. The cupboard also features a waterproof barrier coating. Paper used to manufacture paper cups must be stiff and have robust wet sizing. The air barrier between these double-walled paper cups' inner and outer walls creates an insulated air pocket that keeps the beverage warmer for longer and guards against scalding if served at a high temperature. This will also provide stability, making transporting the fluid far less of a hassle.
Furthermore, the depression on the bottom of double-walled paper cups sets them apart from single-walled versions. The latter is flat underneath, while the former is sunken. Paper cups are hygienic, compatible with various standards, and constructed entirely from virgin materials that cannot be recycled. Thermal insulation is a different product family that helps customers manage hot beverages in paper cups by supporting heat dispersion, coolness retention, and condensation. EPIX technology is utilized in double-walled cups and hot beverage sleeves to increase temperature resistance.
The single-wall paper cups weigh 180 to 210 grams per square meter and are constructed of virgin paper board. The single-wall cup works best for beverages that can be finished within 10 minutes because they tend to get flimsier over time. The production of a single-wall cup requires less paper and less energy. According to BioPak Company, a single-wall cup's lower weight and smaller carton size will reduce transportation-related emissions as well, resulting in a 55% reduction in paper board, a 44% reduction in paperweight, a 29% reduction in carton size, and a 20% reduction in carbon footprint.
Additionally, the pulp used to make single-wall paper cups is based on new cellulose fibers, recycled fibers, etc. Fresh wood (softwood and hardwood) is transformed into pulp either through a chemical or a mechanical process in producing pulp from virgin cellulose fibers. The lignin in the wood is broken down chemically using the sulfate or sulfite procedure. Waste paper can be collected, sorted, and transported to the paper mill, where it is combined with water and chemicals, pulped, filtered, refined, and produced into pulp, which can then be used to make single-wall paper. Although it costs less and uses less white paper, single-wall recycled paper has many advantages.