“If you’ve ever cleaned up after a kegger or done drink duty at an office party, you’ve seen them – the red Solo cups that are Americans’ receptable of choice for beverages both alcoholic and non.”

Erin Blakemore, writer for Smithsonian Magazine
  • 1950s

    1950s Source: officedepot.com

    Fountain drinks were becoming popular. Solo met the demand by coating the inside of their cups in wax. These were very popular at movie theaters and fast food restaurants since they stopped condensation from destroying the cups.

  • 1970s

    1970s Source: nytimes.com

    Leo Hulseman’s son, Robert, is credited for inventing the famous red Solo cup. This drinkware was first marketed as a wholesome product for families to use at picnics. Boy how things have changed!

  • 1979

    1979 Source: historydumpster.blogspot.com

    Solo Cup sponsored and made an appearance on the “Dora Hall TV Show.” This TV special starred many famous jazz crooners including Frank Sinatra Jr., Donald O’Connor, and Scatman Crothers.

  • 2005

    2005 Source: jovoto.com

    Robert Hulseman worked with his friend Jack Clements to create Solo Cup Traveler Lids. These are the disposable lids that adorn the top of your to-go cups at places like Starbucks. The design is so iconic, it’s even part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City!

  • 2008

    2008 Source: webstaurantstore.com

    Disposable products often get a lot of flak for not being eco-friendly. Solo’s idea was to partner with Bare® and release cups that are made from 20% recycled, compostable materials.

  • 2011

    2011 Source: nytimes.com

    Country singer Toby Keith released his hit song, “Red Solo Cup.” It peaked at #1 on the Billboard charts and was certified double platinum after selling 2 million digital downloads!

  • 2016

    2016 Source: usatoday.com

    Solo cups can be part of magical moments! Just look at Gavin Spinneweber, a student at Rockledge High School in Florida, who creatively asked his date to the prom using red Solo cups.

  • 2018

    2018 Source: thecomeback.com

    In a clever bit of cross promotion, the filmmakers behind Solo: A Star Wars Story partnered with Solo Cup to release these limited edition packages. They also created a Millennium Falcon out of red Solo cups and displayed it on Hollywood’s red carpet at the movie’s premiere!

  • 2020

    2020 Source: prnewswire.com

    Solo is all about giving back. In 2020, they partnered with Feeding America® to provide 1.5 million meals to families in need across the country. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, the timing couldn’t have been better for this initiative.

Did You Know?

The Solo Cup Company is a family-owned and operated business. Robert Hulseman’s son, Paul, took over from his father and worked as the Senior Vice President for 22 years.



Peach wasn’t much of a seller when colorful Solo cups first hit the shelves at stores. Everybody loved red more since it was bolder and stood out from the rest of the colors.



Blue was reportedly Robert Hulseman’s personal favorite color. Still, that didn’t stop red from outselling the blue cups by a wide margin.



Yellow was a bestselling Solo cup color in Texas. These sunny cups even beat red in sales! This was the only state where any other color reigned supreme.

Today, you can buy Solo cups in a variety of colors, not limited to green, gray, pink, orange, and even rainbow! They’re easy to find everywhere, and the best part is they’re usually packaged in sleeves that cost under $4 for a set of 50.

Solo Cup is always looking for green solutions so you can sustainably dispose of their products. It’ll be exciting to see what’s next for this popular brand!

Did You Know?

According to Solo, you can use the lines on the outside of the cups to provide exact measurements for your drinks. The top line is for beer, the middle line is for wine, and the bottom line is for other types of liquor.

When Was Beer Pong Invented? https://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/really-we-do

Did you know?

The World Series of Beer Pong, also known as BPONG, is held every year in various states throughout the country. In the past, this event has drawn over 1,000 competitors from all over the world.

College Parties

College Parties

Red Solo cups are often in attendance at keggers, frat parties, and other social gatherings. They’re a cheap way to drink alcohol, which is perfect for students with loans to worry about!

Backyard Barbeques

Backyard Barbeques

You can’t grill outside in the summer without a cooler full of ice and Solo cups. A mix of red and blue cups is particularly festive for the Fourth of July!



Solo cups are handy for back-to-school picnics and company picnics! Everyone can basically clean up after themselves as soon as they’re done eating. If the stores are fresh out of Solo cups, custom plastic cups are also a good option for these events!



If you don’t have koozies at a tailgate, the next best thing is pouring your drinks in Solo cups. Your hands will stay dry, which makes it easier for you to toss around a football or eat snacks before the big game!

Outdoor Concerts

Outdoor Concerts

Glass drinkware can be dangerous at music festivals and outdoor concerts. It’s much better for concession stands and vendors to pour the drinks directly into disposable Solo cups.

Gatherings With Friends & Family

Gatherings With Friends & Family

You love your family and friends, but you don’t want to spend a ton of time cleaning up after them! Next time you have people over, keep disposable Solo cups near the drinks on the snack table.

Casual Weddings

Casual Weddings

The average American wedding costs over $30,000! If you’re not into the frills, you can opt for a nice, casual ceremony instead. Solo cups in your wedding colors will look great next to ice buckets filled with wine and champagne bottles. It’s just like an open bar, without the high price tag!

Holiday Parties

Holiday Parties

It takes a ton of work to plan a party, especially if it’s for a major holiday like Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving. Save yourself a little bit of time and effort by getting Solo cups for the drinks.

Bar & Pub Crawls

Bar & Pub Crawls

When you’re going from one bar to the next, you don’t really want to carry around a heavy glass or bottle. Solo cups are much more lightweight and easy to bring with you on the go.

“The red Solo cup is a tailgate mainstay, a cookout staple, a fixture of dinner parties and keggers; it’s synonymous with flip cup, with beer pong, with debauchery and merriment and revelry.”

Calum Marsh, writer for Vice

Popular Reason One

It’s easy to write a name on the outside with a Sharpie, which stops your guests from sipping out of the wrong cup.

Popular Reason Two

The cups are durable and built to last for hours.

Popular Reason Three

You can easily stack the cups without them falling over, which saves room on a snack or drink table.

Popular Reason Four

They’re insanely affordable, and you can find them everywhere.

Popular Reason Five

Cleaning up at the end of an event is always way easier with Solo cups.

Solo cups are so popular, over 7.4 billion are produced at their factory every year! It’s hard to beat their simple, affordable design.

The Bottom Line

The red Solo cup is associated with good vibes and fun times. While it may not always be as eco-friendly as reusable drinkware, Solo has been working hard on coming up with solutions. So go ahead and pour one out for this innovative company and their most famous product – the red Solo cup!


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Solo. About Us: Solo is the Original Sign of Good Times. Retrieved from,

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Reiter, A. 6 Things You Never Knew About the Red Solo Cup. Retrieved from,

Shreeves, R. (2017, May 31). 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Red Solo Cups. Retrieved from,

Business Wire. (2011, April 14). Solo Cup Company Launches New Recycling Program for Its Solo Squared® Cups. Retrieved from,

Francis, K. (2014, March 21). Red Solo Cups – The Hottest American Souvenir? Retrieved from,

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Warshaw, B. (2019, July 31). What’s the Difference Between Beer Pong and Beirut? Retrieved from,

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