For the average consumer, news that food storage brand Tupperware could go out of business might have come as a surprise. But for some marketing experts, the news was a long time coming.
Tupperware is currently looking to regain its financial footing. The brand recently stated that it was looking for new lines of credit and investors, or it risks folding. Experts say it has failed to connect with new customers and has fallen short when it comes to sharpening its brand purpose and innovation. It also faces more competition from the likes of Ziplock and Rubbermaid, as well as Amazon.
“This is a challenge we see a lot,” said Meghan Labot, chief growth officer for North America at FutureBrand, a brand consulting agency within IPG. “Brands who have long legacies might be established in the minds of consumers, but over time, they have to work to stay relevant. Tupperware has an element of nostalgia. How can they reframe that to be relevant to today?”
One audience that marketers think Tupperware hasn’t connected with is Gen Z. The containers were historically sold exclusively via Tupperware parties that were hosted in customers’ homes, a model that is practically extinct.
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“My guess is that those most loyal to the brand have aged and so they need to become more relevant to younger generations,” said Kimberly Whitler, associate professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. “A tried-and-true way is through superior products.”