Tupperware is in difficulties. It has been well reported that the US company founded by Earl Tupper in 1942 has experienced a stock market collapse of confidence and a warning that there is doubt that the company can function as a going concern.
Unusually, it is not the product, which is at fault, but the business marketing model. Typically, Tupperware has been sold through a party plan; the classic dynamic being a traditional housewife acting as host to a group of similarly-situated compatriots. Unfortunately for Tupperware, the ‘traditional housewife’ is a dying breed. But Tupperware the product remains as valid as ever.
I can scarcely imagine my life without Tupperware. Even if it is not a product that I use every day, I know that it is something that I have readily available in my kitchen, which I can call upon for almost any domestic contingency.
Perhaps like Superdry, Tupperware suffers from its longevity: I have Tupperware, which I have inherited from my mother; in fact, it was one of the few things that I saved from her estate; the suburban plastic heirloom equivalent of the family silver.
But, I believe that Tupperware has a future. It just requires a bit of creative marketing re-imagination. No more parties for non-existent housewives. Tupperware: get a bit more gender fluid.
Here is my plan.
Don’t wait for the party to come to you; take the Tupperware to where the party is already happening. At the football and need something to hold your half-time pie? There’s a Tupperware for that. At a rave and need somewhere to hide your stash? There’s a Tupperware for that. In St Mark’s Square on Easter Sunday and need a container to protect your rosary beads? There’s a Tupperware for that. Kettled by the police after an Extinction Rebellion demonstration and desperate for a pee? There’s a Tupperware for that.
So many possibilities; so many opportunities.
Tupperware is not short of contemporary relevance, but perhaps lacks creative imagination.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Conversely, Simon Turner-Tree is not short of creative imagination, but perhaps lacks contemporary relevance.