What do you see at nearly every party? The red solo cup, a truly iconic cup, is found everywhere. Used by family parties to college frat games, it can be seen throughout our society. Do you ever stop and ask yourself, who made this or any other questions regarding the cup and its connection to our society? As you read through the paper, it will shine light on many of the unknown facts of such a quintessential part of our culture.    First off, the inventor of the now ubiquitous Red Solo Cup is Robert L. Hulseman, son of the founder of the Solo Cup Company, Leo Hulseman. Robert L. Hulseman was born on April 5th, 1932, and recently passed on December 21st, 2016. Hulseman was an innovator who preferred to solve problems on his own. In addition to the Red Solo Cup, Hulseman created another product that is prevalent worldwide, the traveler’s lid. Th While inventing the Red Solo Cup, he also solved two major problems. He truly was an inventor.Hulseman soon took over his father’s business as he came of age. In the 1970s he created what has now become known as the Red Solo Cup. At the time, the market was saturated with paper cups that were small and weak. That created a need for larger and stronger cups. In comes the Red Solo Cup which, on the other hand, were much larger and stronger. He chose to make the cups out of polystyrene, a cheap, strong, and readily available plastic. He used injection molding to make it easy to mass produce in factories. Created in Illinois, Hulseman used his family as a focus group. He learned what color was best suited for the cup. Eventually, it led to the choice of red, because he deemed it neutral to both genders given his data. Hulseman chose to make this cup because, at the time, there was no other cup available that was comparable. It was much stronger and held more than double the capacity of competitor’s cups in some cases. One trouble he discovered was the lack of people drinking 16 or more ounces of beer at one time. However, with the release of the large size of the Red Solo Cups, they adapted around the cup. The cup was patented so the exact design couldn’t be replicated ensuring them some stability in the near future of the company. Now we see the cup has a square bottom, indents for grip, and everyone using them. All the other companies making disposable cups lagged behind in terms of innovation. The Red Solo Cup changed us nationally on three different levels. Socially, economically, and culturally. On the surface level, economically, it has contributed to our GDP. In 2011, it was valued as a $1.6 billion dollar company. From 1998 to 2009 gross profit has increased by almost 7000 times. Considering this was right around the economy crash, the profit made is quite significant. During the economic crash, people are less likely to have a party in general. If they did and needed cups, they would more likely choose a bargain brand or favor reusable cups. Still, it resulted in $1.2 billion in gross profit in 2009 compared to the $2.5 hundred thousand. At its peak, it boasted over $2.4 billion in sales. In 2008, Forbes ranked the Solo Cup Company at #221 in America’s Largest Private Companies. This was before the company was acquired by the Dart Container Company. Evidently, the company amassed enough money to purchase their competitor with the help of a loan. However, they purchased the competitor right before the economy crashed. The company fell into significant debt and was acquired by Dart Container Company in 2012.Culturally, it has become an iconic cup seen everywhere. It is used in party games like flip cup and beer pong in colleges nationwide. You walk by numerous Red Solo Cup yet you don’t bat a single eye. It has become a symbol connected to partying. It became just known as the go-to disposable cups. They are a trusted product that simply works as intended and it became something that people can consistently depend on. It even spawned its own song written by Toby Keith dubbed Red Solo Cup in 2011. It became a viral sensation on Youtube currently holding over 45 million views. They’re even the choice of cups used when portraying parties in movies. This all connects to see how widespread the Red Solo Cup is in our culture. Socially, it changed partying. It was an easily accessible product that was convenient for everyone. It was readily available, relatively affordable, and a functional product. There was a clear link between partying and these cups as I mentioned before. It’s durability and functionality trumped other disposable cups when used for partying. Many party hosts don’t want to use traditional cups because they need to be washed after. If you’re expecting many people at a social event, you don’t have time to clean everything. It also poses a safety concern because if dropped, traditional cups can shatter while plastic cups don’t share this issue. To sum it all up, partying evolved because Red Solo Cups offered a time-saving solution. In conclusion, Hulseman the creator of the Red Solo Cup was a very adept inventor. He invented two things that we use in our everyday life now. He saw a need for an item that wasn’t already offered by any other competitor and seized the opportunity. Thus he created the Red Solo Cup. The Red Solo Cup has become an icon while being linked to partying and drinking. The product has contributed to the economy of our society and its GDP. 


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