Patriotism, a sense of consumer safety and automation are all factoring into a California company's decision to move manufacturing of plastic food service products to the United States.
Lollicup USA Inc. said its new 300,300 square foot warehouse in Chino, Calif., will include space for offices and distribution, and eventually for manufacturing.
“More and more consumers are looking for American-made products. Not only is there a sense of patriotism, but they feel safer,” Lollicup USA CEO Alan Yu said in a statement. “Factories in China are reducing labor-intensive work by purchasing more expensive automated equipment. We might as well invest in high-tech equipment and manufacture our products here in the U.S. ourselves.”
Lollicup USA also expects to save time and shipping costs by relying on domestic operations.
The new location for Lollicup USA, which has been based in the City of Industry, Calif., will allow the company to make its Karat-brand of disposal plastic and paper food service products, the company said.
The location also will provide warehouse space that will let the company increase inventory to improve order lead times, Lollicup USA said.
Along with its food service products, Lollicup USA also has a retail and wholesale beverage supply business. The company specializes in tea and coffee, including a beverage called bubble tea that includes pearls of tapioca.
Ivy Wang, marketing coordinator for Lollicup USA, said the goal is to eventually have all plastic food service products made in the United States, but the transition will be deliberate. Exactly which products will be initially manufactured at the new location is now being determined.
“The reason for the slow transition is to see how it works here. But our goal is to eventually bring everything back to the U.S.,” she said. “Not all the items will be manufactured here immediately. It will be a slow transition.”
Along with plastic cups, the Karat line of products includes deli containers and other food packaging a well as plastic cutlery. The plastic items are made from polypropylene, polystyrene, and PET, Wang said.