Tupperware's surprising new strategy: Beauty

The plastic containers are still there, but the company has found success with perfumes and creams in some parts of the world.

By Kim Peterson Apr 6, 2012 2:24PM
Image: Lipstick (© Stockbyte/PictureQuest)Do women spend more on makeup or on plastic containers for food? The answer is the key to Tupperware's (TUP) new direction.

Tupperware is moving into beauty. Yep, the same Tupperware whose plastic products have been featured in home parties for decades. Women who buy Tupperware also buy skin cream -- and Tupperware decided there were new opportunities for beauty sales as well.

Beauty products now make up a whopping 26% of Tupperware's total revenue, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The company decided to focus its approach on the countries where women care the most about how they look. The United States didn't rank No. 1. In fact, it scored 9th on the so-called "vanity index," which measures women's attitudes about their appearances, the Journal reports.

The region where women really obsess over their looks? Latin America. Specifically, Venezuela, which topped the index. Other Latin American companies filled out many of the top spots, the Journal reported.

Avon (AVP) has found the same thing and has amassed a huge door-to-door-sales army in Brazil, the Journal reports. The country is Avon's biggest market for person-to-person sales.

Latin America works so well for Avon and Tupperware for several reasons. There aren't enough retail stores selling beauty products. And door-to-door sales are a key entry point for unskilled women who want to get jobs, the Journal reports. There are large social circles. And most important, women there really want to look good.

So what does that mean for Tupperware? Women in Latin America have plenty of Tupperware parties, but instead of discussing leftovers or storage, they create mini spas and focus on makeovers and relaxation. Along the way, they'll cross-sell plastic Tupperware products. Tupperware's CEO calls this the Trojan Horse appraoch, according to the Journal.

The dynamic could change as Latin America gets more developed and women find easier access to offerings from Estee Lauder's (EL) MAC and L'Oréal's Maybelline lines. But Tupperware has found another revenue stream, one that could work very well in other regions outside of Latin America.

Now plastic tumblers and refrigerator stackables are only part of the story at the company.

Tupperware shares have risen a little more than 6% in the past year. Avon shares, meanwhile, have fallen 14%.

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Apr 6, 2012 7:43PM
I haven't heard of Tupperware in years.  I didn't know it still existed.   Are parties still a valid marketing tool?  Just asking.
Apr 9, 2012 11:13AM
The article fails to mention that the US-based beauty company is BeautiControl.  BeautiControl has been in business for 31 years and was purchased by Tupperware.

The skincare line is fabulous!  I use it and love it!  
Apr 7, 2012 1:41AM
How does plastic translate to skin care? It is a whole different product. They make great cereal containers but they will have to prove they can make great lotions. Anything less than great will cheapen their image.
Apr 9, 2012 11:25AM
Could it be a coincidence that the Tupperware ownership is the same as BeautiControl?  I think not!

Apr 9, 2012 10:50AM

What the article failed to mention was the name of the company Tupperware owns that sells the Beauty Products in the US.  Each country has it's own brand under the Tupperware Umbrella, in the US it is the Direct Sales Company BeautiControl based out of Dallas TX. 


They have a wonderful team of people and one of the best products in the market.  I have followed the regimen myself for years now and they keep innovating and competing in a strong market, very impressive company!

Apr 9, 2012 7:53AM
What an odd combo just don't see it

Apr 9, 2012 3:29PM
You bet Tupperware is still around!!  Tupperware Parties are happening all the time!!  Sixty-five years strong!!
Apr 9, 2012 12:36PM
Why are women stupid enough to believe that spending all their money on some stupid 'beauty' product is a good idea?????  I just hope the storage containers don't lose quality because to this search for profits.

Apr 9, 2012 5:00PM

They also have a Company out here in california called ArmandDupree which is part of Fuller Cosmitics from Mexico,they have been around about 3 yrs here but in mexico about 28 yrs,fuller is even older so good for tupperware.

Apr 9, 2012 4:22PM
Don't get me wrong, I love Rubbermaid for some stuff.  But Tupperware is a far superior product than Rubbermaid for keeping food fresh, especially the older stuff.  Try putting brown sugar in a Rubbermaid container, and a Tupperware one.  I had brown sugar stay soft in a outdoor storage unit (by accident) for 5 years.

The problem Tupperware has is that it lasts forever. Mine is 30 years old. No need to buy more, ever.

Apr 9, 2012 10:28AM
Tupperware is a great product I still purchase, but make up products -- Hmm?
Apr 11, 2012 8:58AM
It may interest some of the people that commented negatively about Tupperware getting into the beauty industry, that their company (Beauti Control) has been in business 30+ years and is growing by leaps and bounds. I became a consultant with Beauti Control because the products actually do what they say they are going to do. You see a difference very quickly. Did we expect any less from Tupperware??
Apr 9, 2012 1:53PM

Well, when they put  Wal-Marts, CVS, Targets, K-Marts, supermarkets, and many more of the other American stores selling beauty products, and plastic ware in a much wider variety and cheaper, in Central and South American cities,  that will kill all of that noise!!!


American women just got smarter about spending a lot of money for plastic ware, and  cosmetics  that are available abundantly throughout the country.


Why buy Tupperware and Avon products when Rubber Maid and Cover Girl will do just fine???  And, just think of the savings!!!! 

May 8, 2012 2:07PM

Oh yes Tupperware is 65 years strong and the parties are 64 years strong.  You don't get that from too many companies now days.  Check out what we have to offer.  It is much more than an income.

hope to talk to ya soon.  LIKE IT A LITTLE? PLEASE ORDER

                                           LIKE IT A LOT? HOST A SHOW

                                           WANT IT ALL? JOIN MY TEAM!!!

Apr 9, 2012 4:34PM
Parties are still huge for all types of things. There's candles, home decorating stuff, jewelry, oils, kitchen stuff, you name it.
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