Fast Food Market Dominates Demand for Paper Disposables; Fast Casual Restaurants See Faster Gains
Cleveland OH, July 14, 2023 – According to a new study by The Freedonia Group, US Paper Foodservice Packaging & Serviceware
, demand for paper and paperboard foodservice disposables for fast food and fast casual restaurants will rise 2.8% per year to $10.2 billion in 2027, with unit demand reaching 314 billion:
- Fast food restaurants dominate sales of single-use products in the limited service restaurant market, due primarily to the large fast food industry and its heavy use of disposables.
- However, disposables demand in fast casual restaurants will see gains much faster than average, especially in market value, due to underlying strong growth in the number of fast casual restaurants, as well as the tendency for many of these businesses to use specialty, higher value packaging and serviceware.
Fast food businesses continue to face competitive pressures from fast casual restaurants and cafés due to trends toward healthier eating and generational shifts in eating preferences. However, fast food restaurants are competitive on price and, due to their size, are able to adopt aspects of fast casual restaurants and cafés to retain a large “share of stomach”. Ongoing attempts to compete include:
- offering more limited-time special menu items featuring trendy flavors and sauces
- adding plant-based items to their menus
- joining third-party delivery platforms
- remodeling their dining rooms (e.g., modern looks, Wi-Fi, and family-friendly spaces)
These trends impact the types of foodservice disposables they use:
- New menu items may require new packaging and possibly serviceware.
- Customers interested in vegetarian and ethically sourced food are more likely to value sustainable packaging.
- Hot and cold specialty beverages require cups and lids that display the item and secure the contents effectively and efficiently.
- Food items designed for eating on the go require wraps or scoop cups.
- Orders destined for delivery must be packaged to reduce spillage – boosting use of higher value lids – and, increasingly, are sealed to show customers that they have not been tampered with.
Fast food restaurants already rely heavily on paper-based disposables and continue to see a shift away from foam and plastic. Fast food chains have long used paper bags for drive-thru and carryout orders because of their good performance at smaller sizes and positive environmental image. These restaurants also commonly use paper drinking cups, scoop cups, folding cartons, and dinnerware. Paperboard containers offer durability and resistance to grease commonly associated with pizza, hamburgers, fried chicken, French fries, and other products typically packaged this way.
About The Freedonia Group
The Freedonia Group, a division of MarketResearch.com, is a premier international business research company, providing clients with product analyses, market forecasts, industry trends, and market share information. From one-person consulting firms to global conglomerates, our analysts provide companies with unbiased, reliable industry market research and analysis to help them make important business decisions. The Freedonia Group’s brands also include Packaged Facts, a trusted provider of consumer market research on food & beverage, pet products and services, demographics, and financial services, and Simba Information, the leading authority for market intelligence and forecasts on the education and professional publishing industries. Find off-the-shelf studies at https://www.freedoniagroup.com/ or contact us for custom research: +1 440.842.2400.