Orlando, FL

Take a Walk Down Memory Lane at Tupperware Confidence Center in Orlando, Florida

Gayle Kurtzer-Meyers

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Vintage Tupperware Salt & Pepper Shakers/Photo Source: Flickr

Thanks for the memories, Tupperware

One of my childhood memories was Tupperware on our table at just about every meal. If it wasn't the famous dome lid salad crisper, it was one of their decorative drink containers along with an array of matching accouterments. I would have never imaged the likes of the Tupperware Confidence Center in Orlando, Florida, back in my childhood days.

I also fondly remember the brand's commercials about the funny-sounding burp-and-seal technology that promised to keep our food at its peak of freshness. Oh, and the parties! For generations, many of the women in my family threw home parties for Mary Kay, Sarah Coventry, and the first of many being Tupperware. It was a way for them to have fun, socialize, and earn a kitchen full of that precious burp-and-seal commodity.

So what was all the hype? A neat little tourist attraction, the Tupperware Confidence Center, 23 miles outside Orlando, Florida, in Kissimmee, explains it all in a way that's fun for the entire family.

"Last night I had a Tupperware party that went on till 4 in the morning. Might have lasted even longer but the cops came around and we had to put a lid on it."-Jokojokes.com-

The History of Tupperware ingenuity

Tupperware was developed in 1946 by Earl Silas Tupper in Leominster, Massachusetts. He created plastic containers for American households to preserve food by ensuring an airtight fit featuring a newly-patented "burping seal." Mr. Tupper previously invented the plastics technology that went into Tupperware in 1938. However, Tupper's innovative approach wasn't limited to the product itself; it encompasses the brand's "sales through presentation" marketing strategy.

In steps Brownie Wise

Tupper wasn't alone in catapulting the Tupperware success story; he had help from an intelligent ingenious gal named Brownie Wise. Wise, a former salesperson for Stanley Home Products, created a cultural movement not only for the Tupperware brand but eventually for women around the world. In 1950, Wise was divorced with a son to support. She found Tupperware an excellent opportunity for a single mother and an easy sell because of its mass appeal. Shortly after moving to Florida, Wise started getting the word out by social networking whenever and wherever she could. Through a system of representatives, hostesses, and home parties, Tupperware quickly outsold its store sales. Wise became vice president of marketing and forged Tupperware Parties, Inc. Tupperware promptly became known to empower women.

Inspiring and empowering women through reward

Tupperware's sales and popularity exploded, thanks to Wise's influence and the camaraderie she fostered among the women who sold Tupperware. Wise's marketing approach also included rewarding Tupperware's top ladies with prizes, extraordinary jubilees, and wild theme parties to celebrate successful sales. These gatherings were not only a reward for work well done but an excellent way to network, reveal new upcoming products, and inspire continuing sales growth. Unfortunately, expenditures for the enormous parties and glitzy prizes didn't sit well with Tupper and cited this reason as his cause parting ways with Wise in 1958. However, celebrations like these still occur today and are a model for many other home sales products. Later that same year, Tupper sold out to Rexall.

Cool trivia about Tupperware

  • The lid was inspired by a paint can.
  • Tupper's first product introduced the burp seal.
  • Earl Tupper invented Tupperware in 1938.
  • Tupperware originally failed in retail stores.
  • A single mom in Detroit hosted the first Tupperware party in 1949.
  • A Tupperware party is held every 1.4 seconds worldwide.
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Tupperware was named one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century.

Fast-forward: Tupperware today

Thankfully, not much has changed for the Tupperware culture except for the inception of new technology. Tupperware now appears in more than 100 countries through several mergers and acquisitions, translated into 70 languages, and still sold primarily through parties run by a "consultant" who demonstrates the Tupperware, plays party games, and takes product orders. The host or hostess still invites people they know for a party to view the line, and by hosting, they receive free Tupperware based on the sales level and parties booked. And, the name still invokes nostalgic memories for many. Even today, I'll attend an estate sale, see a piece of vintage Tupperware, and get misty-eyed.

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Tupperware CorporatePhoto Source: TripAdvisor

The Tupperware Confidence Center Orlando Florida

The Tupperware Confidence Center itself takes approximately 30-45 minutes to walk through, but it's packed with informational fun for the entire family. Part history, part product showcase, and part recruitment opportunity for Tupperware, the self-guided tour is free for everyone. There, you'll discover more information on the company's history and its vital members. Moreover, the visitors enjoy the vintage Tupperware-making machinery, the multi-screen theatre-in-the-round, an array of product displays, kid-friendly interactive exhibits, Tupperware success quizzes, a photo booth, and a machine that vends mini Tupperware.

Finally, adjacent to the museum, there's a gift shop where you'll have the opportunity to purchase some of the current Tupperware product lines not only from the United States but a few unique pieces from around the world. Some visitors say the gift shop is worth a visit, especially around the holidays, to fill some gifts on your list. Or, if you know someone tying the knot, what better gift than Tupperware?

The current hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm. However, due to the pandemic, the hours are subject to change, so the museum recommends you call and speak with a live person to confirm the hours before your intended visit.

What Tupperware product did your mom have?

My favorite was the popsicle maker. What is your fondest Tupperware flashback memory?

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I am a Licensed Community Association Manager for the State of Florida and a published author. My top articles are about Florida RE, property management, and the many beautiful venues and activities available in the Sunshine State. Thank you for reading my work and joining me on the journey.

Kissimmee, FL
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