Business Opportunities - Tupperware Parties
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Earl Tupper was a chemist with the Dupont Company. He discovered a new plastic, which was made by purifying a by-product of the oil refining process into a material that was durable, flexible, odorless, nontoxic and lightweight. This material was initially used to make gasmasks and signal lamp parts to the Navy during World War II, through his company, Earl S. Tupper Company in 1938. However, he achieved commercial success by using this plastic for the manufacture of consumer products for home use. He created plastic airtight containers, which would keep food fresh in the refrigerators. He was not successful in retail sales of these containers. Nevertheless, some direct sellers with Stanley Home Products discovered the advantages of Tupperware containers and came up with the idea of demonstrating them at home parties. This was the origin of Tupperware parties.
Tupperware was suitable for the kitchen, instead of the heavy glass containers being used then. It was more durable than other plastics like Bakelite and celluloid. Besides, it could be fashioned into anything, from tumblers, bowls, pitchers, ice cube trays, butter dishes, and even cocktail shakers, in an array of contemporary designs and colors. Many of these pieces were displayed in museums as permanent collection of contemporary art. In 1947, Earl Tupper designed a set of airtight storage cans with resalable lids. The lids of these cans had to be "burped" to let out and keep out excess air.
Since Tupperware was sold though direct sales, it pioneered a new social concept among women. Tupperware was sold only through Tupperware parties conducted by Tupperware Home Parties Incorporated, since 1950. These parties facilitated home sales of Tupperware through a loyal network of Tupperware hostesses. These hostesses would show how the products were to be used and gave her friends and neighbors a chance to purchase them. The women played games where the winner got some Tupperware as a prize. This social do also gave the hostess a chance to employ other hostesses who would throw Tupperware parties, in exchange for Tupperware items for herself.
Tupperware parties gave women the chance to be entrepreneurs. Women could earn a good income by socializing, without stepping out of their homes. Thus, Tupperware parties became popular since they offered women economic freedom within their social circles. A Tupperware sales team comprises distributors at the top, with managers in the middle to overlook the salespeople at the bottom of the pyramid. Even today, Tupperware offers good incentives and a chance to grow within the organization along with peer recognition and many awards. The success of this direct sales model is also because Tupperware has consistently introduced products in keeping with today’s changing lifestyles. It offers products like Shape-O® toy, Rock AND ServeTM, a line of unbreakable containers for the freezer, microwave, refrigerator and table. A microwave and ovenproof range called TupperChef Baking Forms as well as FridgeSmartTM, which claims to keep fruits and vegetables fresh for up to two weeks. Thus, Tupperware parties are popular even today since they empower women economically and give them a chance to make new acquaintances.
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