Anticipated to reach a valuation of approximately US$ 8.4 Billion in 2019 and representing a moderate year-on-year growth rate, the global landscape for paper cups is expected to flourish, considering the ‘environment-friendly’ status because of its decomposable and biodegradable nature. Moreover, government regulations favoring environmental benefits will fuel the widespread adoption of paper cups, predicts Future Market Insights in its recent study on the global paper cups market.
“While the global sales revenue of paper cups is anticipated to witness a modest 4.1% year-on-year growth, the market study by FMI also estimates total volume consumption of paper cups to reach approximately 309,890 units in 2019,” a senior research analyst elaborates.
Foodservice Sector Goes ‘Green’
The foodservice sector is expected to witness lucrative investment and innovation opportunities, amidst the ‘go-green’ trend, wherein switching to environmentally conscious serving options is more than a blind business strategy. Manufacturers and brands are not just simply replacing foam and plastic lining with plant-based products or bioplastics, it is also being used as a way to be build brands. For instance, Smart Planet Technologies’ new coating formulation called EarthCoating for its new ‘reCUP’ is anticipated to remain fully compatible with conventional paper recycling systems.
“A visible paradigm shift to sustainability, combined with government initiatives and regulations calling for reduced carbon footprint, is providing a robust push to the sales of eco-friendly paper cups”, explains the senior analyst.
Key Insights from the Report on Global Paper Cups Market
North America and Western Europe paper cups market are expected to remain the most attractive through the forecast period of 2018-2027, considering elevating demand in institutes and public places.
Public places are anticipated to be the key revenue generators for the global paper cups market. Moreover, increased installations of intelligent vending machines in such public places will continue to drive paper cups market. Technologically advanced paper cups vending machines, also equipped with smart interaction options are projected to gain traction in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Regulations resonating with banning single-use plastic products, including the new French law demanding disposable tableware made of a least 50% biologically-sourced materials that can be composted at home, could slow down the sales revenue of paper cups, considering plastic still accounts for over 27% of the global paper cups market, by material.
Questions over recyclability of paper cups, especially those lined with Polyethylene (PE) continues to loom large, considering its complex production process. Moreover, most coffee cups, contaminated with liquid, end up not being recycled—calling for special recycling plants. However, manufacturers of paper cups are increasingly replacing PE with Poly Lactic Acid (PLA)—a bioplastic, making paper cups completely bio-degradable.
On the basis of cup type, hot beverage cups, holding nearly 60 percent of the total market share, considering increasing demand for beverages including tea and coffee. Georgia-Pacific LLC, for instance, introduced a double-walled paper cup for with air pockets, for its hot beverages, to provide effective thermal insulation to users.
Hot paper cups with sleeves is an emerging trend, to keep the user’s hands well insulated. Moreover, brands are also using hot paper cups sleeves, made of textured paperboard, as an effective advertising tool in the form of designs and logos.
In terms of cup capacity, 150 to 350 ml represents the largest segment, representing nearly 47 percent of the total market share.
Key Trends Spotted in the Global Paper Cups Market
Consumer Convenience and ‘On-the-Go’ Cups continue to be critical growth driver. Manufacturers of paper cups are increasingly investing in expanding their product portfolios to cater to the growing demand from ‘on-the-go’ consumer generation, with a visible shift in designing, further resonating with consumer who crave portability and convenience. Steady development of vending machine technologies have paved way for ‘on-the-go’ cups, specifically for coffee beverages.
Manufactures are racing ahead to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the paper cups with increased emphasis on printed vending cups. For instance, Huhtamaki recently developed a new paper cup concept, which enhances its existing line of premium paper cups. Multi-color printing, increased focus on high quality printed designs, and engraving are anticipated to drive the paper cups consumption.
Manufacturers are increasingly adopting ‘smart’ technologies including labels and QR codes. For instance, Huhtamaki Oyj launched a disposable paper cup called Adtone cup—having heat activated thermochromic label and a QR code.
Competitive Landscape Analysis: Forward Market Strategy Analysis
The global paper cups market represents a highly fragmented landscape, with tier-3 players including Genpack, LLC, Coveris Holdings S.A, Lollicup USA, Inc, among, contributing nearly 80-90 percent revenue to the global paper cups market, superseding tier-1 and tier-2 companies, contributing 5-10 percent revenue share, each.
As the intensity of competition in the global paper cups market remains high, manufacturers are projected to make efforts to expand their product offering to set their products apart from the competitors.
Apart from strategic collaborations, capacity expansion is the key forward market strategy adopted by key companies in global paper cups market. In August 2017, Dart Container Corporation invested over US$ 40 Mn in Michigan U.S. for its new innovation center, employing 136 people.
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Georgia-Pacific LL is expanding its lumber production capacity along with paper recycling capability to reduce dependency on external supply of lumber for converting into consumer products.