Tupperware is such a well-known brand name that I use it as a generic name for its category, like aspirin, cellophane, elevator, and others. (Even though I’m sure Tupperware wouldn’t like that. And it’s not on the unofficial list of protected trademarks frequently used as generic terms.)

This is how the company describes itself: “After 60 years of meeting ever-evolving consumer demands, Tupperware continues to create innovative and surprising solutions for the kitchen and home that feature up-to-the-minute, beautiful designs that are fun to have around. Tupperware products have been recognized and acquired by many of the world’s finest art museums and industrial design collections. Just as Earl Tupper’s early plastic products revolutionized food storage and preparation, today’s Tupperware products continue to enhance lifestyles by offering ingenious design, quality construction, and a lifetime warranty.”

The company itself is respected by peers: In 2010, Tupperware Brands Corporation ranked number two for the second straight year in the Home Equipment category of Fortune’s recently released “Most Admired Companies” list.

So what are consumers saying online about Tupperware products?

Positive Themes

People say Tupperware has great products, including rice cookers, onion keepers, colanders, and others. Most often mentioned were freezer containers.

  • And I’m glad I got it – after all the ingredients were added, the chili was within an inch and a half of the top of the pot. For a family of 3, mind you. Thank Tupperware for freezer containers, I tell ya.
  • Yeah, freeze it as BuffyBot said. Don’t freeze glass jars though, they’ll crack. Tupperware’s the best for freezing. (source)

Another commonly expressed sentiment is that Tupperware is more expensive than alternatives, but is worth it.

  • I used to grow. After harvest, we would pack it in genuine Tupperware containers. Tupperware is worth the money. (source)

And here’s a use for Tupperware that the company probably didn’t anticipate and probably doesn’t target (sorry for the pun) with its marketing: Storing your Glock pistol.

  • Also the tupperware box is not the older version which required you to pull the trigger and have the trigger to the rear in order for it to fit in the box. Further suggesting early to mid 90’s. Also I prefer the Tupperware boxes for storage. All my Glocks get a tupperware box as you can fit more Glocks in smaller area’s, they stack neatly with no sliding and the foam in the new boxes always seems to come loose on the one side after a while.

Negative Themes

The “lid issue,” which is the second biggest problem, really resonates with me. Many people are annoyed about losing lids or trying to match lids with containers. Personally, I won’t use Tupperware because the lids never fit. You push one side down and the other pops up—it’s like a game of Whack-a-mole at the county fair.

Here’s someone who has the same issue.

  • Please strip and the stride into the Games Room when I call, ‘Next patient!'” “But I didn’t bring it with me.” I left my burp-top Tupperware sandwich container out in the Italian sun, and it warped. It won’t seal anymore.” “My angelic wife,” Mr. Klondike said. (source)

Consumers perceive Tupperware as pricey, and while some feel it’s worth it, others find it a deterrent to purchase.

  • If you are using real Tupperware it can’t be less than $20 and all fit in one nice package. Real Tupperware that lasts is pretty Expensive. (source)

This consumer also thinks it’s expensive—but he isn’t using it to store food; he (and others) are discussing using Tupperware as a modifier for the flash on their cameras.

  • Dave Hartman PS: now there is a $3.95 solution from Nikon and B&H photo but that’s another story. — Gary Fong Lightsphere Collapsible is just Tupperware? Tupperware is too expensive for my taste! Will some kind person tell me specifically which Rubbermaid food storage container will fit my Nikon SB-800 snugly and perform like the Lightsphere Collapsible? Can I get it at Wal-Mart? (source)

Regarding insights for Tupperware: I think their pricing strategy is probably right—they get a premium over generic plastic containers, but many consumers feel the higher quality and great warranty justify it. The lid issue is one the company might want to work on. Consumers would like a solution to the problem of lost lids, mismatched lids and lids that don’t seal properly. Given the uses of properly shaped plastic containers as flash modifiers, Tupperware might consider marketing to photographers.

One last thought for Tupperware: Like all companies fortunate enough to have a brand name so well known that it risks becoming a generic name for an entire category, Tupperware needs to continue vigorously defending its trademark, lest it go the way of aspirin, elevator and cellophane. There are many downsides to losing that trademark status, but a clear one in the online world is that if people have something bad to say about their plastic containers and refer to them as “tupperware” when they’re not, that unfairly damages the reputation for quality and unique brand identity the company has worked to establish.

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