Tupperware is a brand name that’s associated with storage and preserving food. Tupperware It’s a company that’s made a name for itself with innovative design and quality construction.
Its signature containers are stocked at a handful of major retailers, but until recently they were sold solely through in-home “Tupperware parties.”
But that’s changing. In early October, Tupperware began selling its plastic products in stores nationwide, a move that marks the biggest shift in the brand’s history.
The company’s new retail strategy aims to target a more millennial and Gen Z audience, whose shopping habits are changing the way they buy and use plastics. It also seeks to eliminate single-use packaging, boost its use of renewable energy and reduce its water and energy consumption by 85%.
To do this, the company launched a sustainability initiative called No Time to Waste that focuses on everything from how it sources its raw materials to how it collects and recycles used products. Its goal is to significantly reduce plastic and food waste by 2025, and to recycle 90% of its returned products.
Tupperware’s plastic lids are patented, so they seal tightly around the contents of the container. They’re light-weight, air-tight, indestructible and waxy textured for a good grip.
They’re also easy to clean. In addition, most plastic Tupperware is BPA-free.
When Tupper first started out, his most famous invention was a set of storage canisters with locking lids that made burping sounds when they were properly “burped.” He called this sealing method, the Tupper Seal, and it became a classic part of a Tupperware presentation. The hostess would show off the containers to a group of friends or family members and explain how they could save time and money by keeping leftovers fresh.
The hostess would then encourage her guests to buy a few items and provide them with samples to try at home. In some cases, she even offered to send the samples to her guests’ homes if they ordered enough products to cover the shipping costs.
A popular and fun way to promote the Tupperware line, the Tupperware Party was a non-traditional sales strategy that allowed women to be the face of the company. The hostess would set up a table with Tupperware products and a dealer to demonstrate them.
During the Tupperware Party, the hostess was rewarded with money for the products she sold, and she could earn even more by recruiting other homemakers to sell for her. These so-called “Tupperware dealers” were a significant component of the sales force that helped make Tupperware a household name, according to Kealing.
Many of these women were stay-at-home moms whose husbands expected them to keep home and raise the children, she says. But they earned income and recognition as well, which empowered them to make their own decisions about whether to stay at home or work outside the home.
By the 1950s, the brand was booming and a growing network of Tupperware dealers, distributors and managers made up a significant segment of the sales force. These home-based entrepreneurs were a key piece of the company’s success and were largely women. They built a reputation as savvy business women and encouraged women to become self-reliant, Kealing says.