Will the Tupperware containers of 2020 go online?

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: July 2, 2014 3:22 pm ET
Updated: July 2, 2014 5:03 pm ET

Image By: Tupperware Brands Corp. Tupperware says it keeps customers happy with creative products, such as a mini-pie maker introduced recently.

Related to this story

Topics Consumer Products, Injection Molding, Design

ERIE, PA. — Ninety percent of Tupperware products are injection molded, and the kitchen housewares maker has expertise in automation and process efficiency. But David Kusuma said Tupperware’s customers admire the firm’s product design and innovation, not plastics processing.

“What drives consumer value is all the creativity and invention that your team puts together in order to utilize material and technology in a unique way,” said Kusuma, vice president of product development worldwide at Tupperware Brands Corp.

Kusuma described Tupperware’s process of innovation at Penn State Erie’s Innovation and Emerging Plastics Technology Conference, held June 18-19. He also gave a sneak peak at research into “smart” food storage containers for the connected kitchen of the future.

Quality is a given for Tupperware customers. There are cases of families passing down their Tupperware containers from generation to generation.

Tupperware still uses the direct-selling method, using home parties, for most of its sales. Kusuma said that heritage has created a personal connection with consumers. The exception is China, where home parties used to be illegal, Tupperware also uses retail stores run by its sales associates.

The Orlando, Fla.-based company also generates 30 percent of sales from cosmetics, Kusuma said. Tupperware also sells high-end cutlery and cookware, produced by outside manufacturers, he said.

Tupperware has a reputation of high quality, relatively expensive food storage containers, he said. Company officials closely study changes to the global middle class, the main buyers of Tupperware products. For example, Kusuma said, five years ago Europe had the largest percentage of the world’s middle class.

“By 2020, it is projected that more than half of the world middle class will come from the Asia-Pacific region,” Kusuma said.

New products are a key to attracting those consumers. Kusuma said the Tupperware product development team works on 150 to 200 new products every year.

Looking ahead near-term, Kusuma, said Tupperware officials attend the International CES Show each year in Las Vegas. “We’re very interested in the connected home, and especially the connected kitchen. What’s coming in the kitchen that will affect our business in the future?” Kusuma said.

During his presentation at Penn State Erie, Kusuma showed photos of a Tupperware research project with several universities. “How do we make containers self-aware?” he said. Maybe the container could email you at the grocery store?

So Tupperware and the universities developed food storage light sensors ion the bulk storage containers with light sensors in the seals for a visual measurement, strain gauges on the bottom to measure changes in weight and LEDs on the side to show loss of volume.

“Wouldn’t it be interesting if you were at the supermarket and you could actually communicate with your containers back home, and actually ask them, ‘How much sugar do I have?’” Kusuma said.


Comments

Will the Tupperware containers of 2020 go online?

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: July 2, 2014 3:22 pm ET
Updated: July 2, 2014 5:03 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Plastics News Now: Arburg's 3-D printing machine hitting the market

October 23, 2014 9:03 am ET

Chrysler is hiding design elements in parts, Amcor teams up with Method for a molding and filling plant and Arburg's Freeformer attracts attention at ...    More

Image

Sales, orders climbing for Wittmann Battenfeld

October 22, 2014 4:04 pm ET

Equipment maker Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH expects sales this year to increase 7 percent, to 295 million euros, as it said some key markets, including...    More

Image

Ford's final ACH plant, injection molder of HVAC systems, to close

October 22, 2014 1:58 pm ET

Ford Motor Co. will shed the last line of business in 9-year-old Automotive Component Holdings LLC by December when ACH closes its Plymouth, Mich.,...    More

Image

Comar merging with Convergence Packaging

October 21, 2014 5:07 pm ET

A couple of plastic packaging companies owned by private investment firm Graham Partners are merging into a single entity.    More

Image

BASF targets coffee and automotive connoisseurs with new resin grades

October 21, 2014 2:07 pm ET

BASF SE is using polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), which is normally used to manufacture high-end electronics, in a food consumer packaging product.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events