If you grew up in the suburbs in the 70’s and 80’s, you very likely had a cabinet full of Tupperware. If you were like me you may have even attended Tupperware parties.
This was actually one of my favorite things. I would wear a dress with tights and mary-janes, eat crackers artfully topped with cheese-whiz, and admire the gleaming towers of plastic skillfully set up by the rep.
Tupperware ladies were the epitome of awesome to me. They were so confident, and they dressed like Julie on Love Boat, and had engraved name tags. I would sit right in front watching in admiration as she explained all of the items.
I was so proud when I finally got the Tupperware lunch box with it’s sandwich box, and a small tumbler for juice. Our freezer was always stacked with plastic squares of beans and enchilada sauce. And when my Mom got the dessert cups, I went on a year long jello binge.
Tupperware was ubiquitous. And then, for a long time, you barely saw the stuff. Cheaper alternatives became available, and then even disposable options. But those options lacked something besides durability.
Part of what Tupperware sold was an experience and a sense of cleverness. Women could use those products to economize their time as well as their food budget. Tupperware Ladies showed me how to look smart and speak with authority. It was very empowering.
I was recently reintroduced to Tupperware. The parties are online now, and the products come in bright jewel toned colors. I don’t have a dishwasher in my house, so I don’t have to worry about things getting warped.
Clearly, I’m nostalgic about the products, but I’m also impressed with their longevity. About 20% of my current collection comes from thrift stores. And even though I don’t get to sit on a freshly vacuumed carpet to get it, I still feel something special when I pull out a bento box with a burping lid, filled with snacks. That’s some good branding.