US Demand for Single-Use Foodservice Products to Rise 3.4% Annually Through 2023

According to a new Freedonia Group analysis, the US market for single-use foodservice products is forecast to see healthy annual growth of 3.4% through 2023, when demand is expected to near $25 billion. The best opportunities exist for products with features that support use in fast-growing applications – such as tamper-evidence and improved insulation for meal delivery – as well as those sourced from sustainable materials that reflect growing consumer and government concerns about the environmental impact of single-use plastics.

Containers and cups/lids to account for two-thirds of market gains through 2023

Containers and cups (along with their respective lids) are by far the most commonly used types of foodservice disposables and will together account for two-thirds of all new demand through 2023. Highlights include:

  • Boxes and cartons will continue to be the most used type of single-use container, as they can be used for a multiple of foodservice applications. These paper products also benefit from a stronger environmental profile than plastic types based on recyclability.
  • Particularly strong growth is forecast for higher value two-piece plastic containers and clamshells made of paperboard, molded pulp or bagasse.
  • Foam containers and clamshells will see below average growth due to their negative environmental profile.

Takeout and delivery trends lead to increases with full service and fast casual restaurants

Aided by the rise of meal-delivery mobile apps like Grubhub and DoorDash, consumers are spending an increasing portion of their food dollars on prepared meals that are consumed away from the foodservice outlet via carryout, drive-thru, or delivery. This dynamic has had the most significant effect on full service and fast casual restaurants, as:

  • takeout meals had previously accounted for only a small portion of their sales
  • they frequently relied on reusable serviceware for dine-in orders

Accordingly, full service and particularly fast casual restaurants are projected to see the most rapid growth in single-use foodservice product sales.

Looking for more?

See Foodservice Single-Use Products, a new study from The Freedonia Group. US demand for foodservice single-use (disposable) products including serviceware and the packaging used to enclose it is presented in value terms by product, market, and material.