How Tupperware can make a comeback—marketing experts weigh in on the troubled brand

Tupperware has worked to get in front of customers. In June of last year, the brand saw a bump in interest from the Prime Video show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” in which Midge Maisel hosts a Tupperware party. The brand released a line of vintage bowl sets. In October, Target started stocking the containers on its shelves, a first in Tupperware’s 77-year history, expanding the availability to buy beyond Tupperware parties or the brand’s website.

‘Missed an opportunity’

But the moves haven’t been enough.

Tupperware can look to other examples of old brands reinventing themselves. Whitler points to Tide detergent pivoting from dirt removal to focusing on customer needs around color and fabric care and scent. Lego, which was $800 million in debt in 2003, used brand collaborations, movies and games to help its toy bricks reach new consumers. Virtually all major automakers are working on adding electric vehicles for more environmentally-conscious consumers.

A good time for a brand pivot would have been during the peak of Covid, said Jenn Szekely, president of Coley Porter Bell. Tupperware saw a surge in sales during the pandemic as people cooked more at home and needed storage for leftovers. The interest in storage options has continued on TikTok, where there are plenty of videos of fridge and pantry organization and restocks, but the trend hasn’t extended to Tupperware products.

“Tupperware has missed an opportunity,” said Szekely. “They should own content around leftover hacks, storage issues across categories, shortcuts for entertaining.”

Tupperware was started in 1946 by chemist Earl Tupper. The sealed containers became popularized by saleswoman Brownie Wise, who created Tupperware parties to demonstrate how lightweight and durable the products were.

Over the years, the brand’s advertising played up its versatility for food storage, while plugging Tupperware parties. Below, a look at some vintage ads.