World-famous Tupperware brand is on the brink of disaster

By our News Team | 2023

Almost eight decades of history could be about to disappear as once-dominant Tupperware brand hits tough times.

Tupperware, the famous plastic kitchenware brand with an almost 80-year history, could soon be joining the ranks of failed super-brands such as Kodak, Blackberry and Atari. 

The US-based company with a worldwide following confirmed last week that it is going out of business unless it can raise emergency funds to revive its fortunes – this despite being a household name in many countries and having sold hundreds of millions of its plastic air-tight and water-tight container products over the decades.

Business Strategy

Photo credit: James Salvas from Flickr

As with most such cases, it seems it wasn’t just one straw that is breaking the proverbial camel’s back.

According to analysts, among the reasons are a lack of innovation when it comes to selling and positioning via social media, absence of product innovation, and a failure to make a more timely and concerted move into formal retail outlets. 

A report by the BBC quotes Neil Saunders, Managing Director of Retail at the consultancy GlobalData, as saying that Tupperware has “failed to change with the times in terms of its products and distribution”.

Brand not connecting with younger consumers

He added that the traditional method of selling direct to younger customers through Tupperware parties “was not connecting” and that even older customers who “remembered Tupperware in its heyday” have moved on – customers can now buy cheaper or more fashionable containers in shops or online.

The Guardian newspaper also quotes Saunders, who said Tupperware was suffering from a sharp decline in the number of sellers, a drop in consumers buying home products after the pandemic and “a brand that still does not fully connect with younger consumers”.

Meanwhile, a report by America’s ABC News says Tupperware has lost market share to other challenger brands, which have found more success in the reusable plastic storage market segment in recent years. 

“Tupperware certainly has tough competition from major brands like Rubbermaid, Glad and Pyrex,” Hitha Herzog, Chief Research Analyst at H Squared Research, said.

“What is really hurting Tupperware are more environmentally conscious consumers who want to move away from plastics and into more sustainable methods of storing their food. This lack of innovation and not knowing their core customer wants and needs is what’s ultimately going to lead to Tupperware’s demise.”

The brand became famous in the 1950s and ‘60s for its direct-sales network of housewives, who hosted often-glamorous Tupperware parties at their homes to earn part-time income. However, that strategy has become dated and, in some markets, has not existed for two decades.