Tupperware is the brand name of a home products line that includes preparation, storage, and serving products for the kitchen and home. The brand debuted in 1946. Products are developed, manufactured, and internationally distributed by its parent company Tupperware Brands Corporation and marketed by means of direct sales through an independent sales force of approximately 1.9 million consultants. Tupperware is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tupperware Brands Corporation.
Tupperware was developed in 1945 by Earl Silas Tupper (1907-1983) in the
Tupperware pioneered the direct marketing strategy made famous by the Tupperware party. Brownie Wise (1913-1992), a former sales representative of Stanley Home Products, developed the strategy. During the early 1950s, Tupperware's sales and popularity exploded, thanks in large part to Wise's influence among women who sold Tupperware, and some of the famous "jubilees" celebrating the success of Tupperware ladies at lavish and outlandishly themed parties. Tupperware was known, at a time when women came back from working during World War II only to be told to "go back to the kitchen", as a method of empowering women, and giving them a toehold in the post-war business world. The tradition of Tupperware's "Jubilee" style events continues to this day, with rallies being held in major cities to recognize and reward top-selling demonstrators, managers and distributorships.
In 1958, Earl Tupper fired Brownie Wise over general difference of opinion in the Tupperware business operation. It is believed that Tupper objected to the expenses incurred by the jubilee and other similar celebrations of Tupperware.
Tupperware spread to Europe in 1960 when Mila Pond hosted a Tupperware party in Weybridge, England, and subsequently round the world. In 2003, Tupperware closed down operations in the UK, but relaunched in 2005.
Tupperware is now sold in almost 100 countries in the world. The top five consumers of Tupperware are:
Tupperware food containers have become almost synonymous with everyday life in the kitchens of the Western industrialized world, their sales methods inspiring the proliferation of suburban parties for a wide range of products from cosmetics and jewellery to underwear and erotica. Tupperware was the brainchild of Earl S. Tupper, a chemist at Du Pont company in Massachussets in the United States who, in 1942, proposed to the company management his ideas for the production of polyethylene (see Polythene) household containers.
In 1945 he founded Tupper Plastics and, in the following year, launched the Tupperware range of soft plastic food airtight containers that prolonged the life of their contents. Colourful and inexpensive they were soon widely purchased in the United States and used for the storage of foods and liquids, both in the home and for leisure activities such as picnics and barbecues.
Tupperware has also been widely associated with Tupperware parties, a sales concept that was introduced by the company in 1951 on the advice of Brownie Wise, a sales representative. The products were no longer available in retail outlets and travelling saleswomen organized parties in people's homes, generating tremendous sales to consumers who were able to familiarize themselves with the products and be instructed on their uses in the comfort of a domestic setting.
Such an approach proved highly successful and was also practised in Britain where Tupperware was first distributed in 1960, although Tupper had himself sold his company in 1958 for $9 million.