Foodservice Single-Use Products

9th Edition

Featuring 108 tables and 51 figures – now available in Excel and Powerpoint! Learn More

Foodservice Disposables

This study examines the US market for foodservice single-use (disposable) products. For the purposes of this study, “single-use” products refers to items used in the service of food and beverages that are intended to be disposed of after use. Items with increased durability that allow multiple uses for various applications, such as plastic takeout containers, are included. Disposable items used for the preparation of food or beverages that do not reach the end user are excluded.

Product segments covered include packaging and serviceware:

  • Packaging can be either primary or secondary and refers to the means of enclosing the food items, such as containers, lids, wraps, and bags.
  • Serviceware refers to the items used to aid the consumption of the food item, such as plates, bowls, cups, utensils, and napkins. Also included in the serviceware segment are products that facilitate foodservice and contact the consumer, such as table and tray liners, toothpicks, coffee cup sleeves, and moist towelletes.

Foodservice single-use products are segmented as follows.

Foodservice containers and lids include:

  • boxes and cartons:
    • pizza boxes
    • French fry cartons (also known as scoops)
    • doughnut boxes
    • boxes and cartons use for other applications, such as leftovers, popcorn, chicken, bagels, children’s meals, Chinese takeout, and boxed lunches
  • clamshells:
    • foam
    • rigid plastic
    • corrugated and paperboard, which are non-folding with attached lids
    • alternative materials, such as molded pulp, bagasse, and PLA
  • plastic containers made from traditional resins such as polystyrene, polypropylene, and PET
  • container lids, which are separate lids used for plastic, paper, foil, and foam containers:
    • Lids used with serviceware such as bowls and plates are counted as serviceware lids for the purposes of this report.
    • Lids used for beverage and portion cups are included in the cups, lids, and sleeves category.
  • paper cups, buckets, and pails, which include Chinese food containers with round bottoms and interlocking top flaps
  • food trays, which include:
    • paper food boats for hot dogs and French fries
    • plastic trays for nachos
    • paperboard pizza trays
    • larger platters for catering
    • flat plastic trays used to display and eat sushi
  • foil containers
  • foam containers

Food trays used to serve meals (e.g., school lunch or commercial cafeteria trays), are included with foodservice trays and carriers.

Foodservice cups, lids, and sleeves are segmented into:

  • beverage cups, which include those made of paper, foam, plastic, and alternative materials such as PLA, a bioplastic
  • cup lids, including domes
  • portion cups, including paper, plastic, and bagasse types
  • cup sleeves

Flexible packaging is segmented into:

  • foodservice carryout bags, including plastic and paper types
  • food service packaging bags
  • wraps, including sheets and liners, in plastic film, foil, and paper types

Flexible packaging is segmented into:

  • foodservice carryout bags, including plastic and paper types
  • food service packaging bags
  • wraps, including sheets and liners, in plastic film, foil, and paper types

Material breakouts include:

  • plastic, including foam, rigid, and flexible types
  • paper and paperboard products
  • aluminum
  • alternative materials, including niche, lower volume materials sourced from renewable stocks such as wood, wheat grass, bamboo, bagasse, molded pulp, and bioplastics like PLA

Back to Top