Starting back in the 50s, women were encouraged to start their own businesses, hosting Tupperware parties, and demonstrating how to use those popular plastic containers. So what were these parties like? Here’s a look back!
Visiting a Tupperware party (1960)
By Irene Corbally Kuhn – Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) July 2, 1960
One night when I saw visiting a friend in Queens, a subway ride from Times Square, my hostess took me down the street to a Tupperware Party in the home of young mother of three little girls.
She had invited 12 of her neighbors from her block to show them the new samples. This was a typical American suburban street of average income families and a total of 73 children.
The evening started with games, and all the women taking a night off from husbands, housework and children, got right into the spirit of the occasion. Only soft drinks and cookies were served — this is an unwritten law so that no one is tempted to overreach herself socially or financially.
Mrs Stegmaier showed the new things, discussed new ways of using them. The party lasted two hours, and when it was over, the women ordered what they needed. One of the guests announced she’d like to be a hostess next month.
Make handsome incomes
This is the endless chain of house selling which has made an overwhelming success out of a disappointing failure.
Housewives are making handsome incomes from entertaining their neighbors and taking orders for household articles from a line set up by a dealer beforehand, and finishing off the evening of fun and neighborliness with coffee and cake.
Many first-time hostesses, or guests, become dealers themselves. They discover latent sales abilities and go on to become sales managers. Then they recruit and train more dealers, and help put on more parties.
At this point, the husbands often become interested. The next step is one in which the husband often gives up his regular job and joins his wife as distributor. The couple then operate their own warehouse and office to supply the dealers in their franchised territory.
Today, 90 of the 160 franchised distributors are husband and wife teams. Men who have held ordinary jobs, averaging perhaps $5,000 annually, and wives who have never worked outside their homes, are making $35,000 to 50,000 a year from these home parties today.
This should destroy the myth that all housewives lead a dull and profitless existence.
History of Tupperware parties: 1958
Tupperware is famous for efficiency, economy and unchallenged beauty. The patented “Tupper Seal,” a virtual “vacuum pack,” is the leader in the industry. The complete line includes over 100 items for refrigerator, freezer, pantry, table, picnic basket and home uses.
It carries the Parents Magazine Seal of Commendation and the Good Housekeeping Guaranty Seal. The selling principles and techniques used by Tupperware Home Parties, Inc. have built one of our country’s greatest sales programs.
Since 1946, Tupperware has been sold on the home party plan. Tupperware will continue to be sold exclusively by independent distributors. It will not be sold in Rexall stores or other outlets.
Home parties are successful, because they are both fun and profitable. The hostess benefits by receiving a lovely Hostess Gift. The guests benefit by learning more about the money/space/time saving features of Tupperware.
The dealer benefits, both through earnings and the satisfaction of rendering a real service to the hostess and guests. Independent Tupperware distributors are located throughout the country. Most are conveniently listed under Tupperware in the Wholesale Plastic Products Section of the Classified Telephone Directory.
History of Tupperware parties: 1964
The Tupperware home party plan is unmatched for simplicity and effectiveness in marketing the world’s finest plastic housewares. Tupperware home parties have been accepted by millions of consumers the world over as a convenient, welcome service.
Personalized demonstration meets consumer demand for product information; the relaxed, informal nature of a typical party makes buying easy, and parties fill a social function as well. The person in whose name the party is held is called a “hostess.” She invites “guests,” usually from her neighborhood.
Tupperware’s tens of thousands of independent Tupperware dealers conducted millions of parties, delivering an in-person sales message to many millions of homemakers. Most Tupperware dealers are married women, and as homemakers themselves, communicate with a persuasive naturalness.
Consumer confidence and brand loyalty are maintained at high levels. Rare consumer dissatisfaction is resolved quickly, and in person. The home party plan is also an extremely flexible marketing vehicle.
For example, a new product can be released for sale one day and be demonstrated in thousands of homes the next. Promotion capitalizing on current trends can be put into effect virtually overnight.
A look at the Tupperware home party plan (1960s)
Tupperware is sold on the home party plan, exclusively by Tupperware dealers. Tupperware was withdrawn from other outlets because it wasn’t demonstrated. Many salespeople in stores do not have the time to demonstrate.
Tupperware must be demonstrated for customers to appreciate all its uses. For example, you have to show people how to “wink” the Seal, use the “Pour-All” spout, how to stack Tupperware to save space — upside down or sideways, how products are designed for special uses.
Demonstrating is a service for the customer. Dealers also give customers household tips on saving time and money. Customers also share their discoveries of Tupperware’s usefulness.
The perfect sales room
Selling Tupperware is relaxed and informal, for your “sales room” is the living room, your display is the center of attention. This starts helping you sell right from the beginning, even without any previous sales experience.
Other reasons for using the party plan: It’s a perfect atmosphere. Guests are seated and relaxed, don’t feel hurried. They come to have fun — enjoy the company of friends and learn to save time and money. They decide on the items they want by convenient armchair shopping. Your suggestions help them.
MORE:Vintage Tuppertoys: How many of these plastic Tupperware toys do you remember?
Since its adoption of the popular home party plan, Tupperware sales have spiraled upward. With unique adaptations, Tupperware home parties have become the modern, convenient, fun way to shop. Thousands of Tupperware salespeople and their customers share in its success.
World Headquarters: Orlando, Florida (1963)
Tupperware’s world-wide sales headquarters is the center of sales supervision and training for Tupperware’s sales organization. This 1,000-acre site includes a 2,000-seat auditorium for training of Tupperware dealers and managers in the United States.
Vintage Tupperware “Know How Demonstration Guide” (1970s)
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Tupperware parties of the 1970s
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Tupperware sales parties in 1985
Tupperware today is a very different organization from what it was only a year ago. A number of top management changes have been made, and operating disciplines fundamental to a consumer products company such as marketing, marketing research, product management and sales forecasting, have been established.
These functions extend the effectiveness of Tupperware’s basic strengths: its powerful consumer franchise; the unequaled quality and innovativeness of its product line; informative product demonstration; and a unique sales and direct-delivery distribution system.
In 1985, the company began employing new and meaningful incentives for hostesses, dealers and managers. To attract and retain dealers, Tupperware instituted a program that provides greater sales force profitability and better rewards the recruitment of other dealers. Dealer longevity has increased by approximately one-third.
Also, Tupperware has linked incentive and promotional awards for new and existing managers to productivity improvements and success in training new dealers.
To make a Tupperware career more attractive in relation to other job opportunities, an independent insurance and financial services trust was created for the sales force that enables participation in group health, life and accident insurance coverage and personal investment programs.
Many Tupperware customers prefer the traditional home party. But, for those whose lifestyles restrict participation because of time pressures or other considerations, Tupperware has contemporized the party format while maintaining its benefits. Dealers now are encouraged to tailor parties in length and content to the needs of hostesses and guests, while still adequately demonstrating products.
The contemporary party format has been designed for offices, clubs and other convenient locations. And, although most parties are attended by women who have families, non-traditional customers — singles and men — are being attracted to the system.
Tupperware recently introduced a preview catalog, an abbreviated version of its standard catalog, that is mailed to consumers who have been invited to parties. Given an opportunity to review the line at leisure, guests come to parties pre-sold on items appealing to them. As a result, sales per guest and sales per party have improved. Average sales per party, in fact, were up 15 percent in 1985.
MORE:Vintage Tupperware: See 100+ retro plastic container styles, from the ’50s to the ’80s
What is the history of Tupperware party? ›
The first Tupperware party was held in 1949 by a single mom in Detroit. Brownie Wise came to Tupper with the idea of holding events where people could show their friends how Tupperware worked.What were Tupperware parties? ›
A Tupperware party is run by a Tupperware "consultant" for a host or hostess who invites friends and neighbors into their home to see the product line. Tupperware hosts and hostesses are rewarded with free products based on the level of sales made at their party.
The parties were a way to connect with old friends, make new ones, and participate in a booming consumer economy. Though they took place in living rooms, the events were a way to step away (if only temporarily) from the intensive domestic labor expected of housewives in that era.How did Tupperware use parties to increase sales of its products? ›
Tupperware parties were so successful because they took advantage of this sort of relationship-selling and provided an easy way to leverage close relationships between friends and neighbors to make sales.Why do people buy old Tupperware? ›
By buying vintage, you're practicing sustainability and reusing something from a different generation. Plus, Tupperware is one of those kitchen workhorses that still functions perfectly after decades of use.Does anyone still have Tupperware parties? ›
Over the last seven decades, the retail environment has changed dramatically. But Tupperware parties will still happen too. “Younger customers less familiar with direct sales will now find our brand in retail and from there can develop personalized relationships,” Fernandez wrote.What made Tupperware so special? ›
It was air- and water-tight as well, thanks to Tupper's double sealed lid, patented in 1947, but could be sealed and unsealed just by pressing. As Tupperware dealers would tout to their clients a few years later, it was perfect for the fridge or for outside entertaining.Why does Tupperware have a hole? ›
The holes on food containers are for venting, not utensils.What made Tupperware so special in 1954? ›
In the 1950s, plastic became indispensable--especially in products for the home. Foremost were Tupperware's "Wonderlier" bowls--lightweight, flexible, and unbreakable, with a patented air-tight seal to keep foods fresher longer.How long can a Tupperware party stay open? ›
They will receive an email with a special shopping link. To get started, all you have to do is contact a local Tupperware Consultant. Then just sign up as a Host. Your event will remain active for 14 days, during which time you can invite as many shoppers as you like.
Who sells the most Tupperware? ›
Aunt Barbara, Dee W. Ieye and Kay Sedia are recognized for being the top three in personal sales in the U.S. and Canada at the annual West Coast Tupperware Jubilee in Anaheim.Why is it called a Tupperware? ›
Named after Earl Tupper, who invented the product in 1942 and founded the company that produced it. Thus it is a genericised trademark.Who is Tupperware target audience? ›
Therefore, Tupperware Brands Corporation focuses the Tupperware mostly on women but also produced the bottle which can be consumed by male customers. Besides, is the Phychographic factor which is lifestyle. Tupperware are aimed for people who have a good habit lifestyle.When were Tupperware parties popular? ›
Women attend a Tupperware party, hosted to market the new brand of plastic containers. 1955. By the mid-1950s, the Tupperware party (at which women gathered in the home of the volunteering “hostess” to lively product demonstration) had become a cultural hallmark of postwar America.How does Tupperware sell their products? ›
Generally the company has sold its plastic food storage containers solely through in-home "Tupperware parties" or its own website - save a few brief and limited pilot programs with retailers HomeGoods, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Target itself.Is 30 year old Tupperware safe? ›
BPA, as well as arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury, are dangerous substances for humans, so if you've been using vintage Tupperware, the best thing you can do is not use them anymore. Plastic not only harms the environment but has also directly harmed humans for years.Should I throw away my old Tupperware? ›
When to Throw Away Tupperware. There's no standard rule of thumb about when it's time to throw out your plastic containers. How long your containers last depends on how well you care for them, and the quality of plastic they're made of. You'll know it's time to toss your containers if they become warped or cracked.Does Tupperware still replace broken items? ›
In the event of a product's failure to meet such warranty, Tupperware, at its election, will either replace the affected product with a like or similar product or provide a credit toward future purchases of Tupperware® brand products.
1. Target sells a small, exclusive collection of Tupperware starting at $7.99. On Tupperware.com, you'll find more than 300 different food storage products, but don't expect to walk into Target and find that same selection.How much does it cost to stay active in Tupperware? ›
Make sure you sell at least $250 in Tupperware for each 4-month period. Tupperware requires consultants to sell at least $250 in products for every 4-month period. If you miss your sales goals, your account will be deactivated.
Can you microwave Tupperware? ›
Is Tupperware microwave safe? Manufacturers of Tupperware containers label their products BPA-free and microwave-safe. It means that Tupperware is microwave safe and can be microwaved without worries. But you should avoid overheating or lengthy reheating your food in a microwave.How old is vintage Tupperware? ›
Tupperware was conceived in 1946 by the company's founder Earl Tupper. Tupper's plastic containers for household use were strong while being light in weight, but they didn't sell as well in stores without demonstrations to illustrate all their useful attributes to the homemaker.Why do you burp Tupperware? ›
These containers have a small raised button in the center of the lid. The proper way to put the lid on an Instant Seal container it to place the lid on the container and press down on the button with your thumb. The excess air is expelled from the container, making the Tupperware burping sound.Can you put hot food in a Tupperware in the fridge? ›
A large pot or container of food that is hot should not be placed in the refrigerator or freezer. The hot food can raise the temperature inside the refrigerator/freezer which can be a risk for food already in the appliance.Can you store cooked chicken in Tupperware? ›
Use the right containers
An unsealed container is an invitation for leaks, which means you can end up accidentally contaminating other food in your fridge. Plastic food storage and tupperware with sealable lids are your best option.
According to Hunker, Tupperware and other reusable plastic containers hold onto smells because they are made from polypropylene, a porous type of plastic. This porosity allows the container to absorb properties of the food inside it, such as scent, especially when the food is kept in it for a long period of time.How long can food sit out in Tupperware? ›
TWO HOURS is the MAXIMUM time perishable foods should be at room temperature (ONE HOUR at temperatures 90 degrees F and higher). This INCLUDES the time they're on the table during your meal. Just ONE bacterium, doubling every 20 minutes, can grow to over 2,097,152 bacteria in 7 hours!What is the oldest piece of Tupperware? ›
1. Bell Tumblers from 1946. The Bell Tumbler is one of Tupperware's oldest product lines and is probably recognizable by almost anybody. Although these cups were actually just polyethylene which had previously been manufactured by DuPont for uses in World War II.How long does food stay fresh in Tupperware? ›
Potential: Tupperware keeps refrigerated meat fresh for four to five days and from 6-12 months in the freezer. Tupperware preserves fruits and vegetables for five to six days, with baked goods staying fresh longer than the typical three days.Who owns Tupperware now? ›
Tupperware Brands is not owned by hedge funds. BlackRock, Inc. is currently the company's largest shareholder with 15% of shares outstanding. FMR LLC is the second largest shareholder owning 15% of common stock, and The Vanguard Group, Inc.
Is Tupperware made in China? ›
Tupperware has manufacturing plants in Belgium, Brazil, France, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, Portugal, South Africa and the United States, and leases manufacturing and distribution facilities in China, India and Venezuela.What is Tupperware real name? ›
Earl Tupper died in 1983. The patents on many of his classic Tupperware products ran out in the 1980s, but his design ideas still influence the plastics industry, the food industry, and the lives of people around the world who store their food in plastic containers with lids that seal.How much money do Tupperware consultants make? ›
How much does a Consultant make at Tupperware in the United States? Average Tupperware Consultant hourly pay in the United States is approximately $21.65, which is 14% below the national average.Is Tupperware made of plastic? ›
Most Tupperware products are made of LDPE or PP, and as such are considered safe for repeated use storing food items and cycling through the dishwasher. Most food storage products from Glad, Hefty, Ziploc and Saran also pass The Green Guide's muster for health safety.Who was responsible for the success of Tupperware? ›
Brownie Mae Humphrey (May 25, 1913 – September 24, 1992) professionally Brownie Wise, was a pioneering American saleswoman largely responsible for the success of the home products company Tupperware, through her development of the "party plan" system of marketing.What type of marketing does Tupperware use? ›
Direct selling over retailing
This helps the user to get optimal performance from our products. We also offer advice and tips on food preparation, storage and organisation to our users.
- Knowledge Center & Support.
If you were wondering whether Tupperware still exists, and if they even have those parties anymore, the answer is an emphatic yes.What is the purpose of Tupperware? ›
Saving time and money for the consumer by helping to keep food fresh has always been one of Tupperware's most important goals. Today Tupperware offers products for storing food, food preparation, cookware, storage, and serving items.Who came up with Tupperware party? ›
In late 1951, inventor Earl Tupper bought a thousand acres of cow pasture and swamp in Kissimmee, just outside the quiet farm town of Orlando, Florida. There, he and his new vice president and general manager, Brownie Wise, broke ground for the Tupperware Home Parties Inc.
What is the Tupperware meaning? ›
a brand name for a type of plastic containers, usually for storing food, and usually having lids that fit tightly. Preserving & storing food.Why did Tupperware go out of business? ›
It blamed the sales erosion on challenges such as pandemic-triggered lockdowns in key overseas markets such as China significantly hurting its direct sale business and consumers pulling back their overall spending because of inflation.What does 5 mean on Tupperware? ›
Most Tupperware is imprinted with the number five, representing polypropylene, generally a food safe plastic. Unfortunately, most hard plastics coded in the “five” category are not usually accepted through curbside recycling, but you can recycle your Tupperware this way.What is Tupperware actually called? ›
Tupperware Brands Corporation, formerly Tupperware Corporation, is an American multinational company that produces home product lines that include kitchen gadgets, preparation, storage containers, and serving products for the kitchen and home.Can you put hot food in Tupperware? ›
When it comes to ensuring the safety of your tupperware contents, the biggest factor to manage is temperature, says Schaffner. To avoid dangerous bacteria growth, hot food needs to be kept above 140 degrees F, and cold food needs to be stored below 40 degrees F.