Iconic Brand Tupperware Is Struggling to Stay Afloat

The storage container company business still hopes to live up to its well-known name.

In a LinkedIn post that was published last October, Miguel Fernandez, the CEO of Tupperware, wrote that he had joined the company “with one goal in mind: to build a business as big as our iconic Tupperware brand.” The company, he wrote, had embarked on an ambitious rebuild, which would restructure the 77-year-old company’s business model and “bring more products to more consumers.”

Less than six months later, it’s not inaccurate to say that things at Tupperware haven’t exactly gone to plan. In a press release, the Florida-based company said that it had brought in financial advisors to help it “remediate its doubts regarding its ability to continue as a going concern.”

Tupperware on the brink

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In addition, Tupperware says that it is also trying to secure “supplemental financing”; is looking at its real estate portfolio to see which of its holdings it may be able to sell, or sell and then lease back; and may have to begin “right-sizing efforts,” which is a euphemistic way of saying it may cut some parts of the company.

Tupperware also filed a going-concern notice, which expressed “substantial doubt” about its finances due, in part, to “cash constraints caused by higher interest costs and timing of re-engineering actions.” 

"Tupperware has embarked on a journey to turn around our operations and today marks a critical step in addressing our capital and liquidity position," Fernandez said in a statement.  "The Company is doing everything in its power to mitigate the impacts of recent events, and we are taking immediate action to seek additional financing and address our financial position." 

The company saw a surprising increase in sales in 2020, as locked-down Americans started cooking more meals at home — which made them start to seek out food storage solutions for their fridges and freezers.

According to CBS News, in late 2020, the company had its best performing quarter since 2002, reporting $146 million in product sales. Its direct sales also significantly jumped that year, as “digital Tupperware parties” took off online. But by the end of 2022, the company acknowledged that was a temporary boost, reporting that its fourth-quarter sales had fallen by 20 percent year-over-year, and that its sales for the entire year were down 18 percent compared to 2021.

Last autumn, Tupperware announced that “a curated product selection” would be available in Target stores and on Target.com. That collaboration added 15 Tupperware-branded items to Target’s shelves, and those products range from $7.99 “Heritage bowls” and Date Store & Freeze containers to the 30 piece “Heritage Get it All” set which is currently priced at $79.99.

Only time will tell whether Tupperware will be able to find a way to keep going, but Fernandez seems hopeful. “For more than 75 years, we’ve been the life of the party in homes around the world,” he wrote last October. “We want to continue to have a seat at dining tables and a spot on kitchen counters for years to come.”

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