The Party Is Over? Tupperware Says Goodbye to the US

The once-ubiquitous storage container company is shutting down its last manufacturing plant in the country.

woman organizing food in tupperware
Updated July 18, 2024
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America's favorite storage container brand is officially bidding farewell to the United States. Tupperware has announced that it will shut down its last remaining manufacturing facility in the U.S. and move its operations to Mexico, causing more than 100 workers to lose their jobs.

Though any company closing in this economy isn't a shock, it is sad to see a brand Americans saved money on for years leave the US. 

The closing of the facility in Hemingway, South Carolina, comes after years of financial stress faced by the company. In 2020, Tupperware launched a turnaround plan to increase profitability and restructure its debt.

But how did Tupperware get to this point? 

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The company has been around since the 1940s.

Tupperware colorful containers stacked

The first Tupperware products were invented shortly after the Great Depression when chemist Earl Tupper was creating molds at a plastics factory. 

Tupper believed he could help families save money and food waste by inventing an airtight container for storing leftovers. Thus, the company's signature Wonderlier Bowl was created—which is still available for purchase today.


Tupperware parties were once popular

Tupperware tupperware container table

At the time of its invention, Tupperware products didn't look like the other plastics on the market. Many people hesitated to buy them because they thought of plastic negatively, and the Tupperware containers had a novel design. For instance, the lids must be "burped" before the first use, confusing many people. 

Because of this, sales were slow in the business's first years until Tupperware parties became popular.

At the time, Stanley Home, a home cleaning supplies company, launched the "home party," which allowed the company's salespeople to sell products in customers' homes. 

One Stanley Home saleswoman decided to branch out and host her own "party," where she sold a bunch of home supplies, including Tupperware products, to women in her neighborhood. 

Because Wise knew how to properly demonstrate the correct use of the Tupperware products, they started to sell quickly. She then trained other women to become salespeople, and Tupperware parties quickly expanded to suburbs nationwide.

But the company has since struggled financially

Tupperware

In the last few years, Tupperware has faced some hardships.

In 2020, the company announced a turnaround plan that aimed to improve profits, strengthen its balance sheet, and restructure its debt.

However, in April 2023, Tupperware filed a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission that confirmed the company's financial struggles. 

"The Company has concluded that there is substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern for at least one year from the expected issuance date of its Form 10-K financial statements," the file said.

A few months later, in September, the company reported a loss of $55 million compared to the year before.

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More than 100 workers will lose their jobs

Imladris outside of old tuppeware store

Because of the factory shutdown in South Carolina, 148 workers will lose their jobs. The layoffs will begin in September, and the facility will officially close in January 2025.

"It’s important to note this decision is not a reflection of the performance of the Hemingway team," Tupperware said in the statement. "We appreciate each of our valued team members and the many years of service they have dedicated to our salesforce and to the Company."

The company added that the impacted employees will be offered severance packages and eligible to connect with other businesses at networking events.


Bottom line

Julian tupperware in store

To be clear, Tupperware products will still be sold in the U.S. You can find it in many beloved stores, like Macy's, Walmart, Target and more!

 However, brace yourselves for some potential bad news. The manufacturing plant shut down in South Carolina reveals the company's financial struggles, which die-hard fans of the product can only hope Tupperware can recover from.


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Author Details

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams is a writer for FinanceBuzz. Her goal is to help consumers make smart shopping decisions, and she loves discovering products from emerging brands.