Tupperware sales explode online amid growing concerns over the company’s collapse

Apr 21, 2023
Some of the most in demand products are fetching hundreds of dollars in sales. Source: Getty Images.

Tupperware has been a household staple for decades, with its trademark plastic containers adorning kitchen cabinets worldwide.

However, with news of the company’s shares plummeting and funds dwindling, concerns over its future have mounted.

Despite this uncertainty, eBay has reported a remarkable 130 per cent increase in online Tupperware sales, indicating a significant uptick in demand for the product.

Some of the most coveted products are fetching hundreds of dollars in sales.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Business School Professor Gary Mortimer put the surge down to a feeling of nostalgia for the product among consumers.

“It gives you some sort of nostalgia, of a time growing up in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s,” Mortimer told 9News.

“Scarcity always drives demand and price.”

According to reports, antique salt and pepper shakers are commanding prices upwards of $100 apiece, while complete collections in rare hues are fetching several hundred dollars.

Similarly, vintage celery crispers are selling for as high as $50, and lettuce keepers and pitcher-and-tumbler sets are commanding prices ranging from $35 to $40 each.

Tupperware sales surge.
Source: Getty Images.

Despite its popularity over the last few decades, the company’s outlook appears bleak after it was recently revealed that Tupperware shares plunged by almost 50 per cent on Monday, April 10, with shares reportedly dropping 90 per cent since 2022.

According to retail analyst and managing director at GlobalData Retail, Neil Saunders there are a number of factors that are contributing to Tupperware’s “precarious position”, including a “sharp decline in the number of sellers, a consumer pullback on home products, and a brand that still does not fully connect with younger consumers”.

“The company used to be a hotbed of innovation with problem-solving kitchen gadgets, but it has really lost its edge,” Saunders said.

In an attempt to rectify the company’s worrying financial situation, Chief executive officer of Tupperware Brands Miguel Fernandez explained that “Tupperware has embarked on a journey to turn around our operations and today marks a critical step in addressing our capital and liquidity position.”

“The company is doing everything in its power to mitigate the impacts of recent events, and we are taking immediate action to seek additional financing and address our financial position,” Fernandez said.

Tupperware was invented in the late 1940s by Earl Tupper, who was committed to finding a way to keep food fresh for longer periods. Tupper’s breakthrough came in the form of airtight, watertight plastic containers that sealed in freshness like no other product at the time. But despite the superior quality of Tupperware, the product struggled to gain traction in retail stores.

That was until Brownie Wise become involved with the product. Wise recognised the potential of Tupperware and became the driving force behind the brand’s success. She pioneered the concept of home party sales, recruiting housewives to host Tupperware parties in their homes and sell the products to their friends and neighbours. This approach allowed customers to see the value of Tupperware in action and provided an opportunity for social connection and community building.

Under Wise’s leadership, Tupperware became a cultural phenomenon, and she became the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week. Her innovative sales model, combined with Tupper’s groundbreaking product, revolutionised the direct sales industry and empowered women to become entrepreneurs in their own right.

In the decades since, the brand has expanded its product line to include a range of kitchenware, and its sales approach has shifted to incorporate e-commerce and social media.

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