Just prior to its consumer introduction in 1946, inventor Earl Tupper's plastics-like materials of many manufacturers were dedicated to the war effort. The versatility and convenience of Tupper's "miracle" products helped to launch the plastics revolution of the next decade. Tupper's first consumer plastic products the Wonderlier® Bowl and Bell Tumbler offered a unique benefit that traditional food containers did not: they were lighter and less likely to break than traditional glass and crockery.
With the onset of the post-war "baby boom," women dedicated themselves to caring for their growing families. The "Tupperized" kitchen was born … a kitchen that was well organized and neat, and featured a variety of containers that replaced unsightly open packages and that kept food fresh longer.
In 1946, Tupper introduced his legendary airtight seals patterned after the inverted rim on a can of paint which prevented food from drying out, wilting or losing its flavor in the now-common refrigerator. Despite their breakthrough nature, Tupper's products didn't sell well in retail outlets, primarily because consumers needed demonstrations in order to understand how they worked.
In response, the first Tupperware Home Party was held in 1948, introducing an all-new way for Tupperware products to reach consumers. Demonstrations proved a dramatically effective way of communicating the benefits of the revolutionary seal.
By 1951, the Tupperware Home Demonstration system was working so well that all Tupperware products were taken off store shelves to be distributed in this manner. The direct sales demonstration was a welcome diversion for women, whose involvement in the community mostly revolved around their family.
Selling Tupperware products via the party sales method was an appealing career for these women, who had few career opportunities after their men returned from the war. As consumers relocated from large urban centers to homes in the suburbs, backyard barbecues became a favorite way for families and neighbors to spend leisure time. The new Tupperware products answered needs created by this popular pastime. The Party Bowl kept macaroni and egg salads fresh and cold outdoors, while The Pie Taker provided easy transportation for homemade desserts. The Dip 'N Serve™ Serving Tray functioned much the same way, making it simple to get chips and dip to and from the backyard or the picnic site.
The '60s were times of social upheaval with the family undergoing social changes. As two-income families became more common, women actively pursued career opportunities and Tupperware filled the ensuing product niche with designs like the Traveling Desk, Drawer Organizers, and the Plastic Carrying Case.
The huge wave of baby boomers that began having children of their own created a need for sturdy, stimulating toys. Again Tupperware rose to the challenge, introducing an innovative line of toys like the Shape-O® toy, a fun-yet-educational design which challenged each stage of a child's development from functioning as a rattle for infants to promoting eye-hand coordination in toddlers. While the demand for specialized kitchen products soared, Tupperware kept pace with changing palates by offering storage products like the Mix 'N Stor® Container, and the Tortilla Keeper for serving ethnic dishes.
Thanks to advances in medical technology, consumers were living longer than ever before, resulting in an increasing population of seniors. During this era, Tupperware introduced the Instant Seal, which catered to a mature population with not-so-nimble fingers.
This era also brought drastically changing lifestyles with more households than ever before requiring dual incomes to meet increasing economic demands. More women went to work outside the home faced with balancing their roles in the office and the home. A career in Tupperware offered these new entrants to the workforce a flexible way to earn money and spend time with their children.
When microwave ovens first began entering kitchens, Tupperware introduced products designed specifically for both the microwave and conventional ovens. Once the microwave was fully accepted as a household appliance, Tupperware introduced products exclusively for the appliance such as the Microwave Reheatables line and TupperWave lines, which could warm up leftovers or cook the frozen foods that were becoming more and more a family staple.
In keeping with the fast-paced '80s, Tupperware introduced products designed to maximize people's time. The TupperWave® Stack Cooker was designed to make a three-course meal for four in the microwave in 30 minutes allowing a busy population to have traditional family dinners while the Meals in Minutes Microsteamer prepared a fresh meal for two in 10 minutes or less. Modular Mates™ containers provided a storage system that could be custom-tailored to store staple foods in bulk, cutting down on waste and stretching grocery budgets and kitchen storage space.
In response to growing environmental awareness, Tupperware containers offered positive alternatives to disposable wrap and packaging, including the Square-A-Way® sandwich keeper, the Box Lunch and the Lunch 'N Bag sets.
The CrystalWave™ line of microwaveable food storage containers featured Braille and metric capacity measurements, reflecting Tupperware's continued responsiveness to consumer needs.
The 1990's trends reflected a renewed emphasis on the home and traditional comforts such as home-cooked meals. Right in step with this trend, Tupperware launched an expanded product line of contemporary-design kitchen tools made with Tupperware's signature quality and ingenuity the Peeler Plus, the Coffee House Set, and the Double Colander combined traditional kitchenware with a '90s sophisticated savvy.
By 1992, nearly half of all Tupperware consultants held full-time jobs in addition to selling Tupperware products. In deference to a trend toward "one-stop shopping," the company introduced "Value for Time" classes and "Custom Kitchen Planning" demonstrations, where customers learned about microwave cooking and food preparation, as well as ways to save money on their grocery bills, valuable cabinet space and time. In addition, "Rush Hour" and "Office" parties allowed Tupperware demonstrations to fit the busy schedules of time-pressed customers.
Just as Earl Tupper's early plastic products revolutionized food storage and preparation, today's Tupperware products continue to enhance lifestyles by offering ingenious design, quality construction and a lifetime warranty. During the 21st century, the world will continue to change, and Tupperware will continue to evolve right along with it, using a modern approach to form and function to create convenient solutions to households tasks.
Tupperware now reaches nearly 100 markets around the world, offering culturally distinct items such as the Kimchi Keeper, the Kimono Keeper and the Japanese Bento Box.
In the new millennium, consumers can count on the same quality of Tupperware products representing extraordinary design for everyday living. Moreover, in today's information-age busy consumers can be sure of Tupperware's expansion into new channels such as the Internet and shopping mall showcases to meet societal change in marketplaces around the world.
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Tupperware Brands Corporation is a global direct seller of innovative, premium products across multiple brands and categories through an independent sales force. Product brands and categories include design-centric preparation, storage and serving solutions for the kitchen and home through the Tupperware brand and beauty and personal care products through its Avroy Shlain, Fuller, NaturCare, Nutrimetics, and Nuvo brands.