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Tupperware Classics: Space Saver Ovals a.k.a Modular Mates

Posted by Andrew Humphrey on

This photo is obviously a 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. I refer you also to Leanne and Paul, who have hosted two fun parties at their lovely home in Woodmansterne, and who again were kind enough to allow me to photograph their kitchen in 2007.

A kitchen cupboard well-stocked with Space Savers is the sign of a hard-core Tupperware connoisseur, like those lovely customers I just mentioned. A snazzy lunchbox, water bottle or sandwich keeper 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 had an ostentatious farewell party a couple of years back, and replaced them with the boxier and frankly superior Space Maker range. But, momentum and demand brought them back, and the Space Savers are still a mainstay of the catalogue. 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 is as well-designed a piece of Tupperware as any. Maybe more. It comes in four sizes -- five if you include the round spaghetti jar -- which correspond with food packaging sizes. Designed on the skyscraper principle, the Space Saver 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 markets 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. 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. Here's Leanne's stack for a perfect example. Opening your larder to see that, you don't have to be Desperate Housewife Bree Vanderkamp to feel a frisson of pleasure.

Once you look at it in detail, you realise what a feat of kitchengineering the Space Saver is. 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 seal 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 backwash when you pour something like flour. The Space Saver 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.

See the Space Saver Ovals in my online shop

As a treat, here's my favourite relative Aunt Barbara, the top-selling Tupperware lady in the US, demonstrating them for you:

See the Space Saver Ovals in my online shop

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