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Tupperware Classics: Space Savers for cupboard storage

Posted by Andrew Humphrey on

This photo is obviously a Tupperware publicity shot. No-one in the real world would have kitchen storage like that. Would they?

Ladies and gentleman I refer you to Sandie, one of my first ever customers in 2006. When I delivered her order, she sweetly allowed me to take a snap of her larder. 

Sandie has Space Saver Ovals, Squares, Rectangles and Rounds. A kitchen rd well-stocked with Space Savers is the sign of a hard-core Tupperware connoisseur, like Sandie. A snazzy divided lunchbox, an Eco water bottle complete with a brush for cleaning, or a Hot Food on the Go is something you can show off, or showcase in the office fridge, but only you see the inside of your kitchen cupboards. Just imagine opening that door to bliss, not chaos.

The Space Saver range is another product that Tupperware could not stop, even though they tried. They were launched in 1982 according to my colleague Joy, who was a Tupperware lady at the time and still is. Joy says "I only remember this as my husband went off to the Falklands War and the Space Savers were launched whilst he was away." They were popular for 25 years then Tupperware UK gave them a sudden and ostentatious farewell party, and replaced them with the boxier Space Makers.

But, momentum and demand brought them back, and the Space Savers Ovals and Space Saver Squares are still a mainstay of the catalogue. The Round version I can only supply as the tall Spaghetti Storer or the similar one with a liquid pouring seal for infusing your extra virgin olive oil. The Round 5 is also the basis of this idea for a unique Christmas gift-in-a-jar. The Rectangles I can no longer get.

I find they are especially popular with my antipodean customers, who I suppose are used to being particularly scrupulous with the air-tight storage of dry food, protecting it from humidity and bugs.

The Space Saver Oval is an especially well-designed product. It comes in five  sizes which correspond with food packaging sizes. Designed on the skyscraper principle, the Space Saver Oval has a small "footprint" on your shelf or countertop, storing vertically to maximise space in my hostesses' bijou London kitchens.

Interestingly (to me, anyway), the "Space Saver" name is only used in the UK. In countries where kitchens and living spaces tend to be bigger, like Australia and the US, the name is Modular Mates, emphasising their stacking and tessellating qualities, not space saving. And because with a selection of the different sizes, you can create stacks all the same height, which is very pleasing. The lip on the seal means they stack securely without toppling. 

Once you start looking in detail, you realise what a great feat of kitchengineering the Space Saver Ovals are. The container is lightly frosted to add to the uniform appearance when many are used, but there is a cutaway polished window, so you can see what's inside. The capacities are designed for standard sizes of commercial packaging (see the guide above). The seal on the Oval has two separate openings, a small one for pouring and a large one for scooping. The seal opens flush against the side of the product, so there is no clogging or backlog when you pour something like flour. The Space Saver Oval is slim, and fits comfortably and ergonomically in the hand. At a party, I sometimes make a saucy remark about that, depending on the mood of the crowd.

But size isn't everything. I also have the cute Space Saver Mini Ovals, designed for seeds, spices, and other dry goods that you tend to buy in smaller quantities.

As a treat, here's a fantastic demonstration by Aunt Barbara, a Tupperware colleague in the US, who I got to meet a couple of years ago. There is also a fantastic ABC news story about Jennifer, the woman behind Aunt Barbara

My online shop has these Space Savers (Modular Mates):

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