World demand for cups and lids is projected to rise 5.0 percent per year to nearly $26 billion in 2017. Advances will be driven by above average gains for food and beverage packaging cups as well as a favorable outlook for global foodservice revenues. In particular, increases will be fueled by growth in the quick service restaurant industry, which will remain the primary user of disposable cups and lids. These and other trends are presented in World Cups & Lids, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc. (, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Foodservice will remain by far the largest cup and lid market, accounting for more than three-fifths of overall market value through 2017. While the large, established foodservice industry and market maturity in developed regions will prevent faster gains, several trends will bolster cup and lid demand. These include expanded beverage offerings in quick service and other restaurants, and the significant growth potential in countries with underdeveloped foodservice industries. Cup and lid demand will also be supported by the rising number of coffee shops worldwide and the continued popularity of coffee as a beverage consumed away from home. Moreover, value gains will be aided by the prevalence of costlier specialty lids in coffee and snack shops.

The fastest growth will be seen in the food and beverage packaging market, reflecting the convenience, portability, and portion control advantages that food packaging cups offer. Healthy eating trends will provide further upward momentum for yogurt, the largest packaging cup end use. On the other hand, gains will be moderated by competition from pouches in applications such as snacks, candy, sauces, and condiments.

Overall, the most rapid increases in cup and lid demand will be seen in the world’s developing regions. Demand in Asia, the Africa/Mideast region, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America will increase faster than the global average, boosted by rising living standards and the rapidly growing number of limited service restaurants serving on-the-go food and beverages packaged in cups and using lids. The highest growth rates are expected in India and China, with Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico also projected to see robust advances. In contrast, market maturity in developed countries will moderate overall growth. Still, demand in developed areas will be supported by the increasing use of relatively expensive biodegradable and compostable products, as well as products featuring increased recycled content.