The Business Of Plastic Booms Again

At 37, Yvette Rivera is the face of a stale economy. She was out of a job, feeding a family of five on her husband's $40,000-a-year salary and stuck in a central Florida home that won't sell.

"That's got to be so frustrating," CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella said. "You're trying to move for economic reasons and you can't get out of the house."

"No, it's very tough. It's emotionally frustrating," Rivera said. "You're on a rollercoaster."

Desperate for extra cash, Yvette turned to plastic. Not credit cards … but an American icon, Cobiella reports.

Tupperware … the company of burping bowls.

And post-war house parties are booming once again ... thanks in part to a slow economy.

CEO Rick Goings has seen the company's stock rise to a 10-year high, almost doubling in five years. The U.S. sales force has grown 10 percent since 2005, and it shows in sales: up 14 percent last year.

"When economists are soft, you usually have higher unemployment, and when there's higher unemployment, there's a bigger recruiting pool," Goings said. "And the No. 1 driver of direct-sell companies is recruiting a sales force."

While other industries are downsizing, Tupperware is capitalizing on economic anxiety, using it as a recruiting tool - with promises of a new career and big money.

The company points to sales consultants like Michelle Labarca as proof.

"I do roughly six to eight parties a month," Labarca said. "I really do focus on being a stay-at-home mom. So I make roughly $60,000. And a free car."


Read more at Couric & Co.: Stale Economy, Fresh Leftovers?
That's after nine years of sales, and a cut of the profits from dozens of sales people she's brought in.

Yvette started selling Tupperware four months ago. Her cabinets are overflowing, but her monthly profits?

"About $300 or $400 is my average," she said.

Not a windfall, but enough to pad the family budget and keep the "for sale" sign in storage until the economy improves.