18 Products Americans Have Stopped Buying—and You Should Too

Whether it’s outdated technology, not the healthiest choice, or simply not necessary in today’s world, these 18 products have significantly dropped in consumer sales over the last decades. They were once part of our everyday lives, but Americans are leaving these items in the past.

DVDs and Blu-rays

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According to Variety, “In 2023, DVD purchases have shrunk by around 92% since its 2006 peak.” This decrease in sales mainly comes from the availability of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, which have seen an increase in the number of consumers subscribing.

Traditional Wristwatches

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There has been a decrease in the sales of traditional wristwatches as consumers have shifted towards smartwatches that offer functions such as contactless payment, communication, and fitness tracking. The luxury watch market, however, has remained generally stable, showing people are no longer wearing them every day.

Manual Transmission Cars

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Consumers have shifted towards buying automatic cars due to their convenience and enhanced technological features. Data reported by Motor1 shows that “manual sales made up less than a percent of cars sold in the US in 2021.” This is a significant decrease compared to around 25% in 1980.

Desktop Computers

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Portable devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops have meant that desktop computers have drastically decreased in consumer sales. Some businesses are still buying desktops, but the rise in remote working and shared office space means many prefer the portability of a laptop.

Canned Soup

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There is a negative perception among consumers around the high sodium and preservative content in canned soups, and as a result, they are opting for fresher, less processed convenience foods. There is also a growing trend of cooking at home, accelerated by the global pandemic and cost of living crisis.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

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Energy regulations have meant that incandescent light bulbs are being phased out in favor of more efficient lighting options, such as LEDs and CFLs. Consumers are also backing this as they seek to save energy costs at home, and Architectural Digest says, “Moving to energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs will save consumers nearly $3 billion on their electricity bills.”

Fabric Softeners

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Many consumers are opting to ditch the fabric softener in their laundry routine as they have become more aware of the potentially harmful ingredients that could threaten the environment and our health. Natural alternatives such as wool dryer balls have gained popularity, as they offer a reusable and chemical-free option.


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Public health campaigns and the introduction of sugar taxes in several cities have pushed consumers to reduce the amount of soda they drink. This has meant sales have dropped, and alternative drinks such as water, flavored seltzer, and non-sugar drinks have become more popular.

Landline Phones

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More and more houses are deciding to ditch the landline, and according to data, in 2020, only around 40% of American households had a working landline phone. Instead, people are opting to use their mobile phones, as the functionality of smartphone technology offers them a more flexible option.

Print Newspapers

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According to the Pew Research Center, between 2021 and 2022, “weekday print circulation decreased 13% and Sunday print circulation decreased 16%.” This comes as many people make the switch to online and digital media formats, reflecting the modern preference for real-time news updates.

Boxed Cereals

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Cereals ruled the breakfast market in previous decades, but now, consumers are ditching the convenient food. An increase in awareness of the sugar content of many cereals means many health-conscious consumers have shifted to protein-rich and low-carbohydrate breakfast options. Many people also prefer an on-the-go option, such as a smoothie or protein bar.

Chewing Gum

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Chewing gum is a classic impulse purchase, and with fewer people heading into stores, sales have dropped. Fortune reported that “The number of packages of gum sold dropped by nearly a third in the United States in 2020.” This could also be driven by health concerns surrounding ingredients like artificial sweeteners and plastic content in the gum.

GPS Devices

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As GPS has become fully integrated into smartphones and modern vehicles, there is less and less need for a separate sat-nav device. Apps such as Google Maps and Waze also offer the benefits of real-time traffic updates and more user-friendly interfaces.

Paper Maps

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The convenience and efficiency that digital maps offer consumers have led to a rapid decline in the use of paper versions. Many people have also opted to reduce their use of paper in order to make less of an impact on the environment, and as a result, the production of paper maps has significantly decreased.

Disposable Cameras

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Most of us carry a smartphone around with us wherever we go, and the instant, convenient camera option this gives consumers means disposable cameras have significantly reduced in popularity. While some like the grainy images and the fact that you have to wait to see the results, there are environmental concerns surrounding these single-use cameras.

Physical Video Games

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Digital downloads of games now dominate the market, and as a result, physical sales are declining. Digital games offer instant access and frequent sales promotions that appeal more to consumers, and they also reduce their impact on the environment. Game industry giants are now also pushing towards digital-only consoles.

Hair Relaxers

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Natural hair is more popular than ever, and there is a wider range of products available to help style and celebrate curly or textured hair types. Consumers are also more aware of the health risks associated with the chemicals in hair relaxers and are therefore opting for more natural products.

Ironing Boards

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Many workplaces have ditched smart dress codes in favor of a casual look, reducing the need to iron on a daily basis. There have also been advancements in fabric technology, meaning many clothes don’t require ironing to look their best, something that is very popular among consumers.

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