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Branded Plastic Tumblers: Costs & Options for Customization


Our customers at G.E.T. are smart – they know they can elevate their foodservice operation by adding custom branding to the plastic tumblers they use for water, iced tea, and fountain drink service. They know that the high visibility of these drinking glasses, which are almost always in front of their guests, is the perfect opportunity to visually reinforce their brand. 

What they don’t know, however, is the cost, including fulfillment time and minimum order quantities, and the different customization options they have. That’s where G.E.T. comes in! We’re going to take a look at the different ways you can customize your plastic drink cups so you can take your brand to the next level. 



Single-Color Logo and Design Customization for Plastic Tumblers

We noticed that most of G.E.T.’s customers choose to customize their tumblers with a single-color logo or design. This is because of the quick turnaround time, low Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ), and affordabilitySingle-color applications like this only require a simple silkscreening process. Let’s take a look at some of the ordering parameters as of 2017 so you can have a ballpark idea of what a single-color option encompasses.  

  • Usually around 12 dozen MOQ 
  • Turnaround time of 10-15 business days
  • One-time setup fee of $95-$105
  • Imprint cost per tumbler is only $0.55 – $0.65

The setup fee is usually a one-time cost that won’t change regardless of how many plastic drinking glasses you order, assuming that you’re meeting the MOQ, which is typically about 144 tumblers for single-color logos and designs. 

Operators find the 12 dozen minimum order to be a reasonable amount because they can easily store extras on-hand for replenishment purposes without having to worry about managing the higher cost or larger storage space that a larger MOQ would require.

Let’s take a look at what your overall cost of adding a single-color logo or design might be. For this example, we’ll assume that we’re staying on the low side of the numbers listed above: 12 dozen MOQ, $95 setup fee, and a $0.55 imprint cost per plastic tumbler.

  • To get the total, multiply 144 tumblers x $0.55, then add the $95 setup fee
  • Total comes to $174.20
  • $1.21 per plastic drinking glass

If you choose to customize your plastic tumblers at G.E.T., we will fulfill your order in-house in Houston, which will result in a quick turnaround time of about only 10-15 business days. If you’d like to place an order, please contact G.E.T. at 713-467-9394. G.E.T. also offers the widest selection of durable plastic tumblers.

If single-color customization isn’t right for your foodservice operation, no worries! There are a couple different options for multi-color logos and designs. 


Multi-Color Logo or Design Customization for Plastic Tumblers

When it comes to multi-color logos and designs, the production process is the biggest influencer of the difference in cost and turnaround time compared to single-color.

The silkscreening process for single-color only requires one pass through the machine. It’s not quite as simple for multi-color.

There are two different processes for applying a multi-color logo or design: silkscreen and hot stamp. We’ll look at both of these to help you understand the differences and why you’d use one process over the other.


Silkscreening is an option for logos or designs whose colors are separated top-to-bottom or left-to-right. Think of a stoplight as an example: The red, green, and yellow will always read top-to-bottom or left-to-right, and the colors do not overlap. 

Applying multiple colors via silkscreen requires a separate pass through the machine for each color used. If you’re using three colors, your tumblers will be silkscreened three times. Naturally, this increases the fulfillment time and labor cost, which in turn influences the MOQ. Unlike single-color custom logos and designs, this process is not done in-house, which is an additional factor leading to a longer turnaround time than for single-color. 

  • Roughly 417-590 dozen MOQ (about 5,000-7,000 drink cups)
  • Turnaround time of 8-12 weeks or more, can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer 
  • Setup fee of $175.00-$195.00 per color
  • Imprint cost varies depending on the complexity of the logo or design

If you decide on multi-color customization through G.E.T., we’ll work with you to help you determine proper costs and stay on track financially.

Hot Stamp 

When logos or designs are more complex, the hot stamp process is used to achieve the most professional outcome.

Examples of this are logos or designs with shading, or colors that are close together in small areas. Think of a mosaic or a rainbow – there are a lot of colors that are close to together, which you would probably agree has a different degree of complexity than a stoplight.

In this process, your logo or design gets printed on a sheet of thin plastic, similar to transparency paper used on projectors in schools a couple decades ago. This sheet is then applied to several tumblers at the same time. Using heat, the logo or design is transferred to the cups, the plastic is removed, and the image remains.

For hot stamp customization, you’re looking at:

  • Roughly 417-590 dozen MOQ (about 5,000-7,000 plastic tumblers), per SKU
  • Turnaround time of 8-12 weeks or more, can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer 
  • Setup fee varies depending on the artwork
  • Imprint fee is figured into the overall price per item and is billed as a unit price


Custom Colors for Plastic Tumblers

We’ve seen brands use the custom color option for promotional collateral. Some fast-casual chains have customized plastic drinking glasses with on-brand colors that guests can take home with them. Restaurants will typically offer the cup for an extra charge, and the guest then either gets to bring it back for a refill at a reduced cost, or the restaurant donates a certain amount to their charitable partner.  

Adding a custom color to the manufacturing process simply requires incorporating a food-safe pigment into the plastic the tumblers are made from. In other words, it has such a minimal affect on the manufacturing process that it doesn’t touch labor costs.

A limitation of custom colors is that you can only have a single color per tumbler. 

You can also add a custom logo or design, in single- or multi-color, to tumblers that have a custom color. You’ll need to account for the costs of, and additional turnaround time for logos and designs because it requires an additional process.

A few things to keep in mind for custom colored tumblers: 

  • The process allows for one solid color to be applied to plastic drink glasses
  • Approximately 600-800 dozen MOQ per color, per SKU
  • Roughly 12-week turnaround time, can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer 

Now that you understand your options, potential costs, and fulfillment times for customized plastic drinkware, you may be wondering if there are certain kinds of plastic tumblers that are better for your operation than others. If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered in the article “PC vs SAN Plastic Tumblers: What’s the Difference?

Build your brand and bring fun to your operation with messaging on your tumblers and enjoy as the word spreads!

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