Predominantly purchased by food service and catering enterprises, fast food chains, takeaway joints, and airlines, disposable cutlery accounts for over a billion-dollar market, at a global level.
Key Insights Drawn from the FMI Study: Growing demand from the QSR (quick service restaurants) sector is pushing consumption of disposable cutlery in the food service outlets segment.; Retail sales currently account for over 40% share in disposable cutlery market, sales are likely to be pushed by the thriving E-tail sector in coming years.; Plastic spoon and fork generate maximum revenue, wood-based and edible disposable cutlery are gradually taking over.; APAC leads in the global market, prominently driven by the escalating demand for online food services.
Prominent Industry Trends Shape Strategies of Disposable Cutlery Manufacturers: The highly fragmented landscape of disposable cutlery market, with around 70-80% revenue share held by a large number of tier 3 companies, is governed by a few prominent trends. With F&B service providers increasingly embracing modern business models, stakeholders are facing a highly competitive scenario in terms of catering to the most profitable industry trends.
Online Food Service: With exceptionally improving sales prospects of on-the-go, convenience foods and beverages, the demand for disposable cutlery is witnessing a parallel upturn. The subsequently thriving online food services sector, coupled with a growing inclination towards using sustainable cutlery and packaging products, is widening the scope of disposable cutlery in coming years. While food service providers are directing their competitive efforts to suit increasing consumer preference for online food ordering simultaneously maintaining the sustainability quotient, eco-friendly disposable cutlery is witnessing remarkably high traction.
“Customization is also observed to be a vital trend dictating developmental strategies of disposable cutlery manufacturers, as a result of which the regional or domestic manufacturers cater to growing demand for colored, printed, and decorative cutlery” says a senior market research analyst at the company.
While the tier 3 companies do not exclusively dedicate their offerings to disposable cutlery, the tier 2 players – despite the individual revenue shares of up to 2% – offer specialized disposable cutlery portfolio and hold strong overseas presence.
New Product Launch: Some of the prominent manufacturers such as Anchor Packaging Inc. and Dart Container Corporation are focusing on new product launches. While the latter revealed a new line of paper bowls and plates, and the cup & lid combos, the company’s major highlight includes colored disposable cutlery. The former however marked an important launch in the reusable and recyclable category, with cutlery that has hinged and perforated lid.
Sustainable Single-use Cutlery: Innovations in ecofriendly disposable cutlery are also trending the competitive landscape of the market in recent years. Biopac UK Ltd. recently unveiled a disposable cutlery range that has been made from renewable cornstarch. The company has emphasized the marketing strategy through an environmental-friendly message embossed on the products line, i.e. teaspoons, dessert spoons, forks, and knives. ILPA S.p.A. Group, a premium ecofriendly cutlery provider, recently amplified their offerings by the introduction of heat-resistant forks, spoons, and knives.
Asian Market Still Holds the Highest Potential: With just-under 1/3rd of the total disposable cutlery market value, APEJ is poised to witness a notable incremental opportunity in coming years. The report prompts at the thriving convenience food culture across the region to primarily boost disposable cutlery sales.
China, a crucial market for Asian manufacturers of disposable cutlery, is likely to capitalize on the online food service sector – projected for almost 30% growth in the revenue over the next few years. This is perceived to be a major contributor towards the growth of disposable cutlery market in Asia Pacific.;On the other side, Western Europe and North America that collectively hold around half the global market revenue are more likely to encounter a gradual fall in the revenue growth, attributed to a visibly growing trend of using conventional steel cutlery.
Tightening regulatory standards for usage of plastic and plastic-based materials is another important factor compelling disposable cutlery manufacturers to shift their material preferences in recent years.
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