Tupperware Gets A MakeOver
With the lights dimmed and New Age music playing in the background, Kemper Bushnell is leading a group of women though a series of breathing exercises.
“Breathe in through your nose and put your hand on your stomach to feel your breath,” Bushnell says to the group gathered in a living room in a suburban east Orange County, Fla., home.
While Bushnell’s instructions are designed to relax, they’re also part of her pitch.
An independent director of a sales team for BeautiControl, a line of beauty and skin-care products owned by Tupperware Brands, Bushnell is putting on a so-called “spa escape party” designed to sell items ranging from chilled eye pads with cucumber-ivy extracts to frozen margarita foot cream.
The party represents part of a multiyear makeover at Tupperware, the Orlando, Fla.-based company that has been trying to shed an image left over from the 1950s of homemakers peddling milky-white bowls in tract homes.
Already, Tupperware has changed the look and feel of its parties, updated and expanded its traditional product line to include colorful bowls and stylish kitchen goods, expanded into foreign markets and pushed into the cosmetics business with the purchase of BeautiControl.
Furthering its transformation, Tupperware agreed to pay an estimated $566 million in August for the overseas direct-selling beauty business of Sara Lee Corp.
To underscore the point that Tupperware sells more than plastic bowls, the direct-selling firm changed its name from Tupperware Corp. to Tupperware Brands Corp. in December, when the deal with Sara Lee closed.
The Sara Lee purchase nearly doubled the company’s sales force to almost 2 million. It also increased the importance of beauty sales, which are now expected to make up at least 35 percent of the company’s overall revenue.