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

Small is beautiful in Nissei's newest press

November 21, 2014 2:14 pm ET

Responding to customer demand for flexibility, Japanese plastics-equipment manufacturer Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. is demoing a caster-...    More

Image

Cartoonist Rich Williams: If I could make HDPE funny, my powers would be limitless

November 21, 2014 1:41 pm ET

For the past 25 years, Rich Williams has been a fixture in the Plastics News staff box, and on our editorial page. Rich “speaks” to our...    More

Image

Three advancements have driven injection molding technology

November 21, 2014 6:00 am ET

Injection molding technology has made major advances in the last 25 years, from largely a world of shoot-and-ship to doing as much as possible at the ...    More

Image

Netstal, Electra Form team up for PET preform partnership

November 20, 2014 3:15 pm ET

The Netstal division of Krauss-Maffei Corp. is teaming up with Electra Form Industries in a partnership to offer PET preform machines and molds as a...    More

Image

Thomson Plastics opens N.C. plant

November 20, 2014 3:12 pm ET

Custom injection molder Thomson Plastics Inc. has opened a new manufacturing facility in Lexington, N.C.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

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

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

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

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events