Research Outline

Disposable Coffee Lids


To identify the top 5 leading buyers of disposable coffee lids in the United States and globally and for each provide the total number of lids purchased, consumer market share, and the total amount spent on purchasing the disposable lids per annum.

Early Findings

  • Understandably, it is going to be coffee shops who are likely the biggest purchasers of disposable coffee cups and lids.
  • Starbucks claim 600 billion cups are distributed worldwide, of which the company accounts for 1% (which would be 6 billion). However, as the largest coffee company in the world, it is going to have the single biggest share among coffee shops.
  • McDonalds and Starbucks have combined forces to offer a $1 million prize to anyone who can design a plant-based (biodegradable) cup liner. However, the article does not state how many cups McDonalds uses.
  • Another report stated McDonalds served 822 million cups of coffee in the US in 2018. All of these would have been in disposable cups (with disposable lids), as the company did not allow reusable cups.
  • As a very rough estimate, if McDonalds' US revenue was $8.1 billion in 2019, and total revenue was $21.5 billion. US revenue is around 37.7%, which means the amount of coffee sold worldwide could be around 2.18 billion cups of coffee.
  • Dunkin' Donuts is generally seen as the third largest coffee seller in the world. They reportedly sell 2 billion cups a year.