Remembering the swanky Tupperware parties from the 60s

Feb 18, 2023
Source: Getty

I was a young mum with small kids in my new housing subdivision three-bedroom home. Busy with child raising, washing cloth nappies and attending mummy groups for the kids, I was desperate for any type of entertainment, and then along came Tupperware.

Another young mum I knew asked us to a “party” to examine this exciting new product called Tupperware. It meant I could leave the kids at home with my husband, eat snacks on little toothpicks poked into a halved orange and sip a couple of wines. We could also win prizes. Just too exciting.

I arrived at the party and was met with a gaggle of housebound women who were there dressed up to the nines, in the corner was a small table with stacks of pastel-coloured plastic on it.

Hmm…So this was Tupperware.

Drinks in hand we listened while the hostess handed around the nibbles and the dealer (sounds shifty) elaborated on the origins of this so-called miracle that was going to make our lives so much easier. We warmed up with a few simple party games and I won an egg separator. Very handy and it was in canary yellow. 

We were all given a list of the products with a stubby little pencil to cross off what we needed. We heard about how to “burp” the lids so the insides would remain airtight.

There were square rounds, a lettuce crisper that would keep your iceberg fresh until the next century, and a celery storer– I was hooked.

We all ordered up a storm, working out how we were going to pay for it out of our meagre housekeeping money. But it would be worth it we convinced ourselves. 

And gratification would be delayed. It had to be ordered, and we would get our purchases in a few weeks. And wait, if we signed up to have a party ourselves we would get a free gift just like our beaming hostess had.

Picture a cranky husband trying to keep fractious children quiet while I played the hostess, I demurred. But this type of direct selling was blossoming. I was already an Avon lady for a bit of pocket money and I could trudge the streets with the kids in the pram to sell my wares. 

Later on, I was lured to Nutrimetics, Amway and other events. They would change my life I was told. The high achievers preached from the stage and the well-dressed acolytes clapped and sang songs of direct-selling worship to tempt us in. My few skirmishes with direct selling left me with boxes full of useless unsold products, and friends who just did not want to invite their friends to sample my miracle wares.

I learned my lesson, but many have done very well out of pyramid schemes and direct selling. I’m not sure how, but good luck to them. I have no Tupperware anymore.

The lids that had a supposed “lifetime guarantee” were no longer in production, and the new ranges which are available require a second mortgage to be able to purchase.

Do you still have any Tupperware in your cupboards? I’d love to see some photos of the original styles. 

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up