Since the passing of Toby Keith this week, there's been a lot of talk about the "red solo cup" - in reference to Keith's 2011 monster hit song of the same name.

The Red Solo Cup is synonymous with college life, party life, picnics, and redneck memorabilia like the stemmed solo cup for wine and champagne.

Meanwhile, with the Super Bowl getting set to kick off on Sunday, Solo Cups will be in high demand on America's second biggest day of the year for eating and drinking (Thanksgiving is #1).

The Solo Cup Company is based in Lake Forest, Illinois, where it boasts over $2 billion in sales annually, and since 2012, has been owned by Dart Container of Michigan.

Leo Hulseman, who worked for the Dixie Cup Company in the 1930s, founded the Solo Cup Company in 1936 as a paper products company. Hulseman invented the original paper cone cup that was used for decades, and still today, by bottled water companies. The wax coated solo cup was added in the 1950s.

The Red Solo Cup

In the 1970s, Hulseman's son, Robert Leo Hulseman, created the now iconic Red Solo Cup, which is known for its durability, and the non-transparent red color plastic that doesn't expose a visual of the cup's contents.

Red Solo Cups are also well-known on college and university campuses for use in the now iconic beer drinking game, beer pong, in which players try to bounce a ping pong ball into the plastic solo cup.

In 1980, the Solo Cup Company acquired the Sweetheart Cup Company, along with their products which were added to the Solo lineup.

Hulseman also owned a television production studio in Hollywood which mostly produced children's television programming for network television. Hulseman passed away in 1989 at the age of 91. His son Robert Leo took control of the company until his death in 2016.

Red Solo Cup, the song, was written by Brett Warren, Brad Warren, Brett Beavers and Jim Beavers and was made into an instant hit in 2011 by Country music star Toby Keith. The song was an enormous hit on both the Country and Pop charts in the U.S. and Canada and ultimately went Platinum with sales of over 3 million. The song's music video has over 70 million views on YouTube.

Toby Keith died of stomach cancer on February 5, 2024.

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