Tupperware is far from the only food storage brand on the market, but it is one of the most iconic. In fact, Tupperware is such a common household name that many use it as an all-encompassing term to refer to any food storage container, regardless of the brand.
Despite this massive name recognition and undeniable icon status, Tupperware is actually at risk of fading into obscurity, as the company recently warned that it may go out of business. Tupperware wrote in a regulatory filing submitted earlier this month that there is "substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern."
The company listed several reasons for its business woes. While interest in Tupperware temporarily surged at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as more Americans took interest in cooking at home, according to NBC, the company's sales have since seen a major downturn.
The company preliminarily reported that net sales were down 18% for the full year in 2022, while net sales for the fourth quarter of 2022 alone were down an even higher 20%. Now, Tupperware says that it may not have sufficient cash for the near future due to increased borrowing costs and the "volatility" in its earnings.
To top it all off, Tupperware could also be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because it has not yet filed its annual results report, the 10-K form, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While Tupperware said that it plans to file the form within the next 30 days, it noted that "there can be no assurance that the Form 10-K will be filed at such time."
Tupperware shares plummeted 50% on Monday in the wake of the gloomy warning about the company's future, CNN reported.
If Tupperware does end up going out of business, it would mark the end of a brand that has been around for nearly 80 years. Inspired by the seal-tight design of paint cans, chemist Earl Tupper created the lightweight and non-breakable plastic containers all the way back in 1946, according to the company website.
The concept didn't catch on right away since consumers weren't familiar with how the new products worked, the company said. That all changed when saleswoman Brownie Wise helped popularize the famous "Tupperware Parties," where women would invite groups of family and friends into their homes to demonstrate how to use the containers and rake in sales.
While this month's filing casts a grim shadow over Tupperware's future, the company isn't ready to officially end the party just yet. Tupperware announced on April 7 that it had brought in financial advisors to help secure more financing, is talking with potential investors, and is exploring other avenues aimed at improving its financial situation.
"Tupperware has embarked on a journey to turn around our operations and today marks a critical step in addressing our capital and liquidity position," Miguel Fernandez, president and CEO of Tupperware Brands, said in a statement. "The Company is doing everything in its power to mitigate the impacts of recent events, and we are taking immediate action to seek additional financing and address our financial position."
Tupperware isn't the only major kitchen brand that has recently gone public about financial difficulties. Krispy Kreme confirmed last month that it was discontinuing its "underperforming" line of shelf-stable grocery store doughnuts and shut down the facility that manufactured them.