At the beginning of 2020, things didn’t go well for Tupperware Brands Corporation. Sales fell. The company’s share price continued to decline.
“People just have no connection with the brand anymore,” Patricia Stitzel, former CEO of Tupperware, told analysts during an October 2019 earnings call.
But then the pandemic came, forcing people all over the world to work, play, study, and most of all, eat at home.
In March, U.S. household spending on groceries rose 36%, according to NCSolutions, a CPG measurement company. Rates have remained high since then, with another spike in October when Covid-19 cases began to rise again.
“Even with the stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, many people were anxious to maintain as much normalcy in their lives as possible by making plans to cook and buy more CPG products to accommodate holidays like Easter April 4th July and July 4th to celebrate Thanksgiving, ”said Linda Dupree, CEO of NCSolutions. “Obviously, this increase in home cooking leads to more leftovers.”
In fact, data from e-commerce performance analytics firm Profitero shows that Amazon is looking for “food storage bins” that spiked this spring, followed by a smaller spike this fall.
That shift in consumer behavior correlated with a reversal of happiness from Tupperware, which saw a 14% increase in sales in the third quarter that beat estimates, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Additionally, the company’s share price is up more than 300% since the start of the year.
“The pandemic has created a new norm with more people living at home and increasing consumer concerns about food safety and food storage,” Tupperware’s new chief executive Miguel Fernandez, who joined the company in March, told analysts opposite in October. Fernandez’s past experience includes roles with multi-level marketing companies Avon Products and Herbalife Nutrition.
Because of this, Tupperware has focused on products that can help people save food preparation time and money by keeping their food fresher longer. Recent innovations include the Chop ‘N Prep Chef, a three-blade container that is operated by a pull-cord, and FridgeSmart, a container with an adjustable venting system to regulate airflow and humidity.
Signs suggest the home-eating trend is unlikely to go away anytime soon. A recent survey by global consulting firm Capgemini shows that 41% of people expect to spend more on groceries and groceries even after the pandemic ends, while 32% plan to cut it.
But it’s not all about happy timing as lockdown commands alone aren’t the only factor in Tupperware recovery. Just before the outbreak, the company was busy investing in digital tools and techniques to support its army of independent agents who sell Tupperware products for commission in nearly 80 countries.
The company launches a program called TuppSocial, which provides resources and training to help its independent sellers become more competitive on social media. Working with Amazon Web Services, sellers are able to host virtual parties with a pilot program called vTupp, where guests can purchase products directly from the platform during the event, which has proven particularly useful in 2020.
Now the 74-year-old company’s famous Tupperware parties are taking place on Facebook and Zoom. This is great for social distancing and people stuck indoors looking for something to do. Neither guests nor hosts have to spend time or money commuting to anyone – and no one is required to provide crackers and wine.