This week, I'd like to highlight America’s favorite food storage solution. That’s right, we’re talkin’ Tupperware!
I bring my grandmother up a lot in these articles because she seemed to always have the coolest collections of random stuff in her house. If there was one thing she loved, it was her huge assortment of Tupperware. A few years ago, I found a complete set of orange Tupperware canisters and I was instantly taken back to being five years old, helping her cook in her tiny kitchen. There was also a green juice glass that I was particularly fond of and always had to use when I was at her house.
Like most products that came about it in the '40s and ’50s, Tupperware was born out of necessity. People wanted a way to organize and save food that was not only attractive but functional as well. Before Tupperware, as we know it, Earl Tupper developed the Wonderlier Bowl and Bell tumbler that offered 2 things that glass products didn’t: they were lightweight and weren’t as likely to break. When it was launched, Tupperware averaged between $2-$5 per piece, but since they also offered a lifetime warranty, it took the sting out of the price tag. Nearly 80 years later, they are still offering that warranty on all of their products.
As innovative as Tupperware was at the time, it just didn’t do very well in a retail setting, mostly because people needed a demonstration on how it worked. Thus, the Tupperware Party was born! The first party was held in 1948, and due to the success, Tupperware eventually took its products off store shelves to be solely distributed this way.
With the economy changing, the need for a two-income house became more prevalent in the 1960s and selling Tupperware offered women a chance to not only make money but was flexible enough so they could still spend time with their families. One of the main things that made Tupperware so popular was the fact that they were always aware of trends throughout the coming decades and adapting their products to meet the demand.
A line of toys for the coming baby boom, microwave-safe options, environmentally friendly alternatives, and time-saving cooking solutions are just a few examples of Tupperware seeing an opening in the market and doing their part to fill it.
As far as value goes, since Tupperware was made in such abundance, there are only select pieces that are considered valuable. If you can find pristine salt and pepper shakers, make sure to pick them up. They’re currently fetching a few hundred dollars for the set.
Estate sales are a great resource for finding complete sets of vintage Tupperware. If you’re lucky enough to find an estate sale of a former party host, you’re sure to find a treasure trove of classic Tupperware!