Tupperware, a company making plastic kitchen containers and other domestic items, always concentrated on selling its products through party-plan selling, allowing housewives to buy the products in the comfort of their own homes at Tupperware “parties” – a great cultural icon of the 60s and 70s (alongside the Avon Lady).
Tupperware presenters were known for their selling ability – They could work any sized living room with panache and finesse as they deftly showed and demonstrated the bewildering array of plastic products. . .
From the rolling pin that you could put ice inside to keep your pastry cool, to ice cube makers and salad crispers – the demonstrator’s suitcase seemed bottomless.
The trump card came in the re-sealable container demonstration when the ‘burp & seal’ feature was highlighted.
In the centre of the lid on each plastic container was a small raised button and, if you pushed the button with your thumbs as you slowly sealed the lid, you would expel some air from the container, effectively “burping” it before making the full seal.
It was like a trance – women were powerless to resist Burp & Seal, and the best part was that it really did help keep the container’s contents fresher than normal re-sealable lids.
At the conclusion of the demonstration, the hostess (who received a Tupperware gift for her hospitality) served light refreshments; tea, coffee, biscuits; maybe a nice sponge cake (the leftovers could be put in a Tupperware cake keeper) and perhaps some scones.
The last thing you wanted as the hostess of a Tupperware party was to have your guests bitching about you behind your back.
This scene was re-enacted countless times over the decades at Tupperware Parties across the Western world – a joyful celebration of plastic and its place in the modern kitchen.