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.