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Tupperware – A Cultural Icon and a $2.1 Billion Company!

Tupperware – A Cultural Icon and a $2.1 Billion Company!

The company Tupperware, just like Avon is something I grew up with. My mom did not sell it like she did with Avon, but all of my family outside of my immediate family always had Tupperware in the house. While I am not a distributor of the product, I believe Tupperware has a great product.

Since 1946 Tupperware has been providing distributors the opportunity to throw Tupperware Parties – an iconic symbol of the American entrepreneurial spirit. Tupperware is in the business of developing and manufacturing plastic products for the preparation, containment and storage of food and whatever else you can think will fit. Tupperware distributes products internationally using a direct selling business model through a sales force of distributors numbering 1.9 million!


Little did Earl Silas Tupper realize that when he released his product line of food containers that he started a company that would be a cultural revolution. Very similar to the opportunity that Avon gave to women, the ability to make money for their household when they did not even have the right to vote, which just in case you did not know was not until 1920!

Brownie Wise had been abandoned by husband leaving her and their sick son to fend for themselves. Not only was Mrs. Wise left to pay for standard household bills, but her son’s mounting medical bills. With that as her driving force, Mrs. Wise sold her heart out and became Mr. Tupper’s Head of Home Sales.

It was Brownie Wise that created the concept of the Tupperware Party and during the 1950’s the sales model exploded as women were force to return to their duties as housewives as men returned from war and to the workforce. Women were empowered to still have businesses through their distributorships and were rewarded with elaborate parties that celebrated top sellers and recruiters.

A teeny bit antiquated in my opinion, but a sign of the times, they did have a silly dress code. Women had to wear skirts and tights at all times… all times. Stepford Wives comes to mind when thinking about this one. I mean, did they have spot checks to see how you were dressed at home too? That one makes me laugh, but again, a sign of the times.

In 1958, Tupperware was acquired by Rexall, a chain of drugstores throughout the United States and in Canada since 1985, but it was not until the 1960’s that Tupperware jumped the pond and expanded into Europe and overtime throughout the world. After a series of companies, buy-outs, spin-offs and acquisitions Illinois Tool Works acquired Tupperware in 1999.

2003 was not such a good year for Tupperware UK as they were nearly shut down due losing nearly 1700 jobs country wide. Tupperware changed their sales model from direct sales to building alliances companies a selling using a more retail distribution model. Today, Tupperware is a $2.1US billion dollar industry world wide and I guess those kinds of numbers make the UK realize they may have not been thinking straight and are re-launching products this year (2011).

As we discussed in the first installment in this three part series, Tupperware has been providing distributors the opportunity to throw Tupperware Parties since 1946. Tupperware Parties are an iconic symbol of the American entrepreneurial spirit and over 1.9 million entrepreneurs today are taking advantage of those parties selling some of the best home kitchen products today.

In addition to Tupperware, the Tupperware brand family also includes several product lines that cater to health and beauty including cosmetics, wrinkle creams, perfumes, colognes and supplements to improve health, gain energy and lose weight.


Over the years Tupperware has kept up with product demand and not only do they sell just plastics. Yes, they still provide the food storage products that made them famous, but they also have micro-fiber products, culinary tools such as can opener, grater, spinner, cutlery and cookware etc.

They have also expanded to personal products. If you go to the Tupperware Brands website, you will find a full line of products from what Tupperware is famous for including their kitchen and plastics lines, but you will also find Swissgarde, Nuvo, Nutrimedics, NaturCare, Fuller Cosmetics, BeautiControl, Avroy Shlian, Armand Dupree.

Products are sold primarily through a direct sales model, but Tupperware has also begun including a retail channel including large department store companies like Target.

Tupperware has a limited lifetime warrantee against chipping, cracking, breaking or peeling depending on the product. As would be expected, products cannot be commercially used and are guaranteed to be free of material defects. Products categorized as a Q product can be replaced or returned within one year of purchase and G products can be replaced or returned within 30-days. No products broken due to dropping, such as glass and china are warranted.

Tupperware Compensation Plan

Alright, now the good stuff! By now we have fully established the fact that products are sold through the direct sales method. In the United States, newbie Consultants purchase one of two kits: a Business Kit for $79.99 or an Executive Kit at $119.99. Consultants are expected to have $250 in sales within the first four months and will receive an additional 5% to 10% in bonuses once they meet sales of $1200 and $3200 respectively.

As with all legitimate multi-level companies, there is an incentive to recruit and receive incentive for doing so. To become a manager, a consultant must recruit three people with total sales of $2000 per month between all four members. Managers will earn an additional 4% to 8% depending upon number of recruits, not on sales.

Directors get their titles after they have reached $10000 total team sales volume with a minimum of 9 recruits for a total team of 10. Directors earn 6% to 10% of the team’s sales volume and qualification for additional bonuses.

In the first article we discussed the amazing history of Tupperware and in this article, their products and compensation plan. In the next article we will discuss several different charities Tupperware’s involved with in their fight for global social responsibility and final thoughts.

Social Responsibility

Tupperware Brands Fund

Each country has charities of their own including:

• Nutrimetics Australia a cosmetic industry program to help cancer patients

• Tupperware and Fuller Brazil is involved in an initiative to bring together resources to improve the quality of life for the children of Brazil

• Provincial and National Youth Councils, which involve youths in leadership and decision processes to improve confidence and self-esteem.

• Children’s Cancer Research Institute in Austria

• Heart disease is the number one killer of women in France and Tupperware France and the Foundation Coeur et Arteres’ mission is to improve food quality and nutrition women and their families consume.

• Tupperware Malaysia supports abandoned or orphaned children through donations from the public and organizations and the volunteers that sustain them.’

• Additionally they have foundations in Venezuela, India, Uruguay and the United States

Tupper Fit

Tupperware Brands focus on all team members from the top down focus on positive and healthy lifestyle including fitness, health and nutrition to ensure an inspired and healthy workforce that is a participant in the growth and development of the company,

Tupperware Brands Disaster Preparedness

Tupperware acknowledges the importance of the need for emergency and disaster preparedness. Tupperware focuses on three targeted points for preparedness including planning, partnerships and financial contributions.

Planning – With the assistance of American Red Cross and FEMA’s Ready America program, Tupperware provides education to associates and sales force to prepare, plan and continuing education of the impact of emergencies including natural disasters.

Partnerships – Tupperware has a pre-disaster approach to disaster response through a network of their associates and sales force to contribute by adding value to communities during the recovery process.

Financial – Tupperware Brands Foundation is the conduit that collects financial contributions that are in turned used to assist communities impacted by disasters.

Tupperware and the Environment

Tupperware is taking a proactive role to reduce its environmental impact with eco-conscious manufacturing and development of products to reduce the amount of disposable containers in landfills.

Manufacturing – To control and reduce the amount of waste and pollution produced by their manufacturing plants, Tupperware has implemented Environmental Management Systems (EMS). EMS allows Tupperware to monitor the impact of its products and services to ensure their manufacturing standards prevent pollution and waste to conserve on resource consumption. Some of the initiatives include energy efficient lighting and wastewater systems, alternative chemicals and adhere to the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

As a result of their 3R philosophy, Tupperware recycled over 1,169 tons of plastics in 2008 by reusing for non-food purposes opposed to trashing or shipping out to recycle centers. To set a benchmark for their ecological efforts, Tupperware completed an extensive report to compare future results by to ensure they are doing all they can to save the planet.

Final Thoughts

Tupperware has been around for 65 years this year and that is not a number to sneeze at. Additionally, it is a multi-billion dollar company that is growing. Tupperware products are known to be of high-quality and the company conducts itself with ethics and social responsibility.

Tupperware sales model has historically been a direct sales model, but they have recently adopted a retail model introducing product through large department stores such as Target. Tupperware still maintains a primary sales model as a direct associate company with a sales force of over 1.9 million associates.

Tupperware is continually introducing new products and brand offerings into their sales model including cosmetics and beauty products. The Tupperware Brand family now includes eight companies and several charities world wide.

In my opinion, this is an excellent company to be apart of and involved in. Every opinion comes with a caveat: As with all relationships, it must be a fit for you. You must know what your goals are and what your vision is. Do not make any emotional decisions! This is a very important decision so due your due diligence.

While I am not a Tupperware Associate and this is an entirely independent 3rd party review of Tupperware and the opportunity they offer, the company has all the signs of sales permanence and corporate stability. I say that with confidence, but again, this is a big decision and the decision is yours!


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