Newest Review: ... household income while still being seen to be "proper". Just another reason me and my mother love the Tupperware brand. I have re... more
It All Started with a Bowl
Member Name: TheChocolateLady
Date: 06/06/06, updated on 05/08/09 (2366 review reads)
Advantages: Strong, easy to use, lifetime guarantee, wide range
Disadvantages: Relatively expensive, not available in stores or on-line
OK, so what exactly is Tupperware? Tupperware, as I already noted, started out with a bowl. Over the years, the line of the products available have increased and expanded. Tupperware isn't just "a bowl" anymore. The products produced by Tupperware today are in three basic categories - storage, freezing and microwave. They also have stuff for food preparation, cooking tools and utensils as well as a line of products for kids.
Here's a brief overview of the categories of products:
Storage items - these are those pieces that can be placed on your kitchen shelves, counters or for serving. Most of these items are made to be airtight for freshness. More importantly, many of the storage items are modular in shape. This means they stack neatly or fit closely next to one another on your shelves. I have one cupboard that holds just my Tupperware storage boxes. In that cupboard I keep: 1kg cornflakes, 1kg of brown sugar, 1kg of quinoa, 1kg of rolled oats, 1kg of oat bran, 1kg of white sugar, 1kg of rice, 500gr of popcorn, 500gr of dried mushrooms and dried tomatoes, 250gr of powdered sugar, 250gr of sesame seeds, and 1kg of dark whole wheat flour and 4kg of light whole wheat flour. That's almost 14kg of food in one 60cm wide cupboard, and I still have room for more! Let's not even mention their spice containers that keep spices fresh for ages and ages.
Many of these containers have flip top openings in their covers. This makes it easier to take the contents out of the containers. Some also have special openings - like the spice containers, for instance, which have holes so you can sprinkle the item into the food you are preparing.
Freezer items are just that - containers that will withstand the cold of your freezer without breaking, cracking or warping. Some can even be put in the microwave on defrost - but not all are meant for cooking in. Included in this category are also the items for your fridge. Again, these items can be put in your microwave on defrost or warm, but shouldn't be on higher heat for cooking with. Some of these items can be so attractive that they will look good on your table as well. For instance, they have cake servers and salad sets that come in different colors and are perfect for taking to potluck gatherings or picnics.
The newest items to the Tupperware catalogue are the microwave items - some of which can not only go just in the microwave, but also go in the fridge, freezer and even in the oven! I have to say that these are the absolute best things that they've ever come up with. I spent a huge amount of money (well, for me it seemed like a lot, and my husband was furious with me) for their 2liter round covered microwave bowl. This pretty baby can be used in the fridge, in the freezer, as well as in both the microwave and oven for cooking! My husband asked at the time "what are you going to use it for" and he's literally eaten his words since then. Why? Because I've used it at least once a single week since I bought it. Sometimes I cook something in it, sometimes my kids warm something up in it, and I've even used it to warm up a large amount of soup quickly in the oven. If there's something I want to prepare in advance, I can cook it in this and then put it in the fridge or freezer until I'm ready to heat and serve it. I cannot tell you how useful this item is. With all the use I've made of it over the past two years (including using it with tomato based sauces) it looks exactly as it did when I bought it. Not a stain or a scratch on it. It cleans up like a dream, either by hand or in the dishwasher.
The other items such as the kids' lines are mostly serving and storage items but are made in colours that kids will find attractive. They also have utensils and preparation tools such as cutting knives, quick choppers, garlic presses, can openers, rolling pins, cutting boards, lettuce spinners and much more.
OK, so that's an overview of the products. But what are the advantages and disadvantages to these items?
Advantages - aside from what I've already mentioned about the products usefulness, there are a few other things you should know about Tupperware. Firstly, there is a lifetime guarantee on these products. That means that if you use them properly (important to remember that), and anything goes wrong, they will be replaced FREE. But I'm sure that the company doesn't have this happen much because another advantage is that these items are really, really strong. I've had only one plastic top crack on me in the over 30 years that I've been buying Tupperware. Trust me, I'm not easy on these items and don't treat them like they're glass. In fact, almost all of the Tupperware I have, when not in use, is in an unlocked place where kids can get into it. For many years when my kids were small, I used that cupboard as my "kids area" of the kitchen. When they wanted to play "like mummy" they knew they could go in there and pull out whatever they wanted and bang, slap, crash and smash away.
Another advantage is that you can always find a piece of Tupperware for your personal needs, and they're always finding and making new sizes and coming out with new ideas. Besides that, Tupperware isn't just for the kitchen. I have one box that holds my sewing things, another for small screws and nails, so Tupperware is also versatile.
Disadvantages - the most obvious drawback is that these are not cheap by a long shot. In fact, one would find many (if not all) of these items to seem to be unreasonably expensive compared to the stuff you can find on your local supermarket shelves or in some house ware shop. I can hardly argue with this, but one might say that the Lifetime Guarantee does make this easier to swallow. Still, I know sometimes people aren't willing to shell out that much money for "just a plastic container". Understandable.
Also, these items are not sold in any stores, nor are they available to purchase on-line (in the UK). No, you have to find a distributor to sell these items to you. And, the problem with the distributor is that they always want you to have a Tupperware Party. Well, I've avoided having one in my house so far, but I can tell you that I've been to many of these parties in my lifetime. While they are fun and interesting, the distributor is often pushy. Why wouldn't she be? Its how she makes a living, right? Still, I have my friend who sells me what I want, and I really don't like the hard sale. If you can find a distributor who will be like that for you, I'm sure you'll want to buy more Tupperware from them. I guess they never think of that in their training classes, do they?
Finally, the biggest drawback of them all is losing the covers. Yes covers on these items will get lost, I promise you. They will get thrown out somehow because you just don't see them, or just get misplaced between use and storage. Then you have to go and buy replacement covers, and that's a bit of a pain. I've done my best over the years to try to keep this from happening, and if someone knows the trick at not losing these, I really wish they'd let me know about it. Of course, that's my fault and not the fault of the company. And with almost no exceptions, I've been able to buy replacement covers for all of my pieces - including some of the ones I bought back in the 70s in the USA.
Conclusion - well, if we sum it all up, the truth is that by far the advantages outweigh the drawbacks. These items are versatile, sturdy, space saving, efficient and attractive. And while they might be on the expensive side, remember the old adage "you get what you pay for" and if I paid a few US dollars back in 1975 (which is equal to about 3 times that much today) for a set of mixing bowls that I'm still using today, I'd say I got my money's worth. Therefore, I can wholeheartedly recommend that you find a distributor, go to a party and start collecting these wonderful products. In the end, the money you save on not throwing out spoiled food or replacing inferior containers will more than cover the cost for these products. I'll give them five stars, despite pushy salespersons and what seem to be high prices.
Thanks for reading!
Davida Chazan © August 2002, updated June 2006
DISCLAIMER: I am not, nor have I ever have been, and truly doubt I ever will be, a Tupperware distributor or salesperson.
Tupperware disappeared from the UK sometime in 2003 and was relaunched there in 2005 and from what I hear, is gaining steam again, so go for it, people!
The official Web Page for Tupperware in the UK can be found at http://www.tupperware.co.uk but all it will tell you is how to contact a sales representative.
This site, however, tells you more about the history of Tupperware http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/story 035.htm
As does this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupperware
While in the US you can actually order products on-line, unfortunately, this isn't possible in the UK and this is why I cannot quote you prices. However, I have noticed you can find some Tupperware on the UK E-bay site with prices ranging from as little as 50p for an old 1970s container - that from the picture looks like its in almost new condition (if a tad ugly to look at), and up to £40 for that fancy Ultraplus cookware that can be used in the fridge, freezer, oven and microwave. On that entry, I see that these have an original selling price of £59.95! Take a look for yourself at http://tinyurl.com/mvv3n
Summary: Great kitchen storage ideas that although expensive, will last you for many years!