Choosing the right type of takeaway cup lid

Amelia Cooper
April 14, 2023
An image of a takeaway coffee delivery showing takeaway coffee cups with takeaway cup lids in an article on the types of takeaway cup lids

While it is well worth placing significant focus on your takeaway coffee cups, how much consideration have you placed on the lid? As a roaster or coffee shop owner, it is likely you’ve placed a heft investment into the design and durability of your takeaway cups, ensuring they clearly represent your brand. 

That said, the lids of those takeaway cups are just as critical to achieving this. Over time, takeaway cup lids have evolved to provide comfort, ease of use, and other functionalities, such as retaining heat and aroma. The majority have been specifically designed to enhance the consumer’s coffee experience.

More so, recent research shows takeaway coffee cups stand out to consumers for their weight, eco-friendliness, ability to avoid spills, and hygienic qualities. Therefore, customers have come to expect their takeaway coffee cup lids to have these qualities.

However, several types of takeaway cup lids are available, with each boasting unique features or designs, such as flat sippers and lock-backs. Read on to learn more about the types of takeaway cup lids available and which may work best for your business. 

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Why do the majority of takeaway offerings have lids? 

Whether hot or cold, the vast majority of takeaway drink offerings come with a lid of some variety. The main reason for this is to prevent dust from contaminating the beverage and to reduce spills. Second, cup lids make it far easier for consumers to drink on the go. 

In the UK alone, around 5.3 million people said they visit a coffee shop at least once a week, while almost 100 million cups of coffee are consumed in the country every single day. With a sturdy lid, coffee can be consumed during a commute or in the office. 

That said, a leaking cup or spilt coffee could ruin a customer’s clothes, their drinking experience, and their impression of your brand. If the leak is caused by a faulty or poorly sealed cup lid, it is likely to deter consumers from making a repeat purchase. By choosing the right type of takeaway cup lid, you can increase the likelihood of securing repeat customers from nearby offices. 

Another key factor in securing a positive customer experience is keeping the drink at the desired temperature. Takeaway cup lids play a critical role here, too. Whether it is an iced frappe or a piping hot Americano, lids help retain the drink’s temperature for longer. This increases the likelihood that the drinker will consume it at the intended temperature and enjoy it as the roaster intended.

An image of two takeaway coffee cups with an example of the type of takeaway cup lids available in an article on the types of takeaway cup lids

Understanding the types of takeaway cup lids available

Over time, takeaway coffee cup lids have evolved to become both far more stylish and user-friendly. From the release of the first snap-on lid for cups in 1950, innovations surged during the 70s and 80s. Notably, patent registrations for takeaway cup lids increased from nine during the 1970s to 26 in the 80s. 

Today, hundreds of patents have been submitted, which have helped create the current diverse market of sophisticated lid designs, innovative materials, and sustainable solutions. Several lid types are available to cater to all requirements and consumer habits. 

  • Flat sipper lids: are designed for hot coffees and are the most commonly used takeaway cup lid. These flat lids click onto the cup and have a small slit near the outer periphery, which is designed for sipping.
  • Lock-back lids: while similar to flat sipper lids, differ in that they feature a small cap that covers the drinking slit. These are designed so the drinker can snap back the cap to expose the slit and close it back up.
  • Clear flat lids with straw holes: are designed for cold coffees as well as fizzy drinks or milkshakes. They are used widely across the food and drink industry, including serving takeaway cold brews and frappes in the specialty coffee sector. 
  • Clear dome lids: are also used for cold coffees and are quickly becoming an increasingly popular option. These lids are also clear and feature a raised dome shape, with a hole in the centre, making them ideal for beverages with foam, whipped cream, or other toppings. 
An image of three clear PET takeaway coffee cups filled with custom takeaway coffee orders including foam and clear dome takeaway cup lids in an article on the types of takeaway cup lids

Factors to consider when choosing takeaway cup lids

Choosing the right coffee cup is critical for roasters and coffee shops, as it plays a critical role in the customer experience. This spans a range of different factors, all of which you should consider when determining which is the right cup lid for each of your offerings. 

Factors to consider include your product range and whether there is a demand for customised beverages, such as those that require whipped cream and foam. Another is seasonal demand and whether you adjust your product range based on it. For example, if you introduce cold brew to your menu during the summer, you may need to order cups and lids that are specially designed to serve cold coffee. 

One of the most important factors to consider is the cup lid’s sustainability, as environmentally friendly packaging is a priority among the majority of consumers. It is recommended that you choose cup lids made from sustainable materials, and that are either biodegradable or recyclable. 

At MTPak Coffee, we offer coffee roasters, cafes, and other businesses a variety of coffee cup lids, including the varieties listed above. Additionally, we stock a range of SensoryLids, which are specifically designed so customers can enjoy the full aroma of your takeaway coffee without spillages. Our SensoryLid was designed with the help of cupping experts and barista champions and allows consumers to continue receiving the coffee’s aroma thanks to an innovative sensory hole.

Our range of sustainable takeaway coffee cups is made from recyclable materials such as bamboo fibre, PET, or kraft paper with an environmentally friendly PLA lining and are available in different sizes: 4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, 12 oz, and 24 oz.

Our takeaway coffee cups are strong, waterproof, lightweight, and 100% compostable, and can be custom-designed using innovative digital printing technology to feature your brand logo or recycling instructions. 

We also offer a range of low minimum order quantity (MOQ) options. This means you can order as few as 500 fully customised units in just five working days.

For more information on custom-printed, sustainable takeaway coffee cups, contact our team.

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