FARGO — Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, sales of Tupperware products in the Fargo-Moorhead area are "phenomenal," Melissa Tschosik reported from Fargo's Tupperware Studio.

Tschosik — a business leader for Above and Beyond Sales, a Tupperware-affiliated direct-sales group — oversees roughly 300 direct-sales consultants. While sales have slumped slightly since the pandemic began, "when the pandemic was first kicking off, it was actually very good," she said. "For us it was phenomenal.

"I don't know if it was the stimulus checks or if it was people who were getting unemployment, honestly I don't know," Tschosik continued on the surge in sales. "We definitely had people making comments (regarding checks)," she added.

The local spike in revenue mirrored a company-wide trend. Tupperware Brands (NYSE: TUP) reported second quarter earning per share of $0.84, 500% higher than Wall Street estimates. Overall, second quarter earnings were in excess of $63 million with revenues nearing $400 million. Shares of Tupperware have increased more than sevenfold since the beginning of March.

According to Tschosik, Tupperware has increased its product offerings from their staple bowls and containers and moved into selling kitchen tools. "We have to get in front of (buyers) so they know that we’re not just a bowl anymore," she said.

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Popular items for children are displayed at the Tupperware Studio in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum
Popular items for children are displayed at the Tupperware Studio in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

Tupperware grills, pressure cookers and stack cookers have all been hot items during the pandemic with more people trying new things in the kitchen. "Everybody is cooking so much more these days," she said. "We can have a healthy meal start to finish in 30 minutes on their table."

The pandemic also forced a shift to virtual parties, which Tschosik said "people can throw together in a matter of days."

The Tupperware Studio, at 3650 Veterans Blvd. in Fargo, primarily hosted cooking classes, meetings and parties but beginning in October shifted to retail storefront operations. While the studio still hosts classes nearly every night, the move, Tschosik explained, is part of a retail pilot program the brand is launching across the United States and Canada. Of its 39 studios across North America, roughly a dozen were selected for the retail pilot, she said.

The Tupperware Studio is located at 3650 Veterans Blvd. in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum
The Tupperware Studio is located at 3650 Veterans Blvd. in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

The retail storefront, Tschosik hoped, would mitigate delays in shipping Tupperware has experienced as a result of surging demand. "Tupperware just was not prepared for it," she said.

While Tschosik typically promises items will be delivered in two weeks, increased sales and the pandemic have delayed manufacturing and shipping, she reported. "That's another really positive point of having the studio here for retail," she said, adding the storefront will be "ideal" for the coming gift-shopping season.