As Consumers Prioritize Sustainability, Forward-Thinking Operators Accommodate

Continental Cup Company

It’s no secret that in recent years, consumers have increasingly prioritized eco-friendliness and sustainability in various parts of their lives. From the rise in popularity of electric cars to consumers’ obsession with reusable water bottles, it’s clear that consumers want more sustainability in their day-to-day lives. When they choose where to dine, that’s no different—for operators, offering sustainable packaging products is a way to generate value, and according to Technomic’s 2023 Value and Pricing Consumer Trend Report, 75% of consumers say value is important or extremely important when deciding where to dine.

When operators consider sustainable practices, one of the easiest things to do is to switch to more sustainable packaging options. While implementing recycling programs or oil management systems can indeed contribute to sustainability initiatives in foodservice, they can be much more costly to support, especially in the beginning. Offering sustainable cups, on the other hand, offers a much lower buy-in, while offering a plainly visible marker to consumers looking for sustainability where they dine out.

Consumer preferences for sustainability—and what operators can do

According to Technomic’s February 2024 Industry Insights Report, 45% of North American consumers prefer beverages with environmentally friendly packaging and 59% prefer beverages with sustainable packaging. When getting a cold beverage to go, consumers are used to traditional poly coated paper cups or plastic cups, most of which wind up in landfills. However, there’s a new solution—the GC120 from Continental Cup which is curbside recyclable or commercially compostable in 120 days. GC120 cups help operators meet sustainability goals at a reasonable price. Continental Cup also offers a BioPBS cold cup, made with plant-based polymers, that is commercially compostable in 180 days. All cups from Continental Cup Company are available with custom printing or in their stock “Bella” design. Cups are available in sizes between 12- to 44-ounces with corresponding lids. The brand manufactures lids from PET #1, which is clear, allowing patrons to see their drink, and is the most widely recycled plastic in the world.  The lids are manufactured to tight specifications making them precise-fitting, providing premium leak resistance. 

Sustainability on the rise

Sustainable claims are becoming more common on restaurant menus—mentions of sustainability on menus are up 6.8% year-over-year, according to Technomic’s 2023 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report. For operators who want to get started with a sustainability program—or who have already begun making changes and want to keep the pace going—using one of the sustainable cups from Continental Cup Company is a winning strategy. With reasonable pricing and immediate consumer satisfaction effects, making the switch to sustainable paper cold cups offers a huge return on investment for operators. With these cups, not only does the environment benefit, but it garners good will among loyal patrons—what’s not to love?

Consumers are only going to grow more steadfast in their commitment to sustainability—for operators looking to get on board or expand their efforts, curbside recyclable and or commercially compostable sustainable cups are a great avenue to explore. To learn more, visit

This post is sponsored by Continental Cup Company


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