The last thing any company wants is one of their precious products to fall like a brick from a skyscraper. Profit is the name of the game. So, investing millions into something only to see it fail is a bitter pill to swallow. Sometimes there’s just no way to know if a product will sink or swim. Even after years of testing and design, a product can backfire. Companies, however, can also be tone deaf to what the public really wants. Curious to see some of the biggest business blunders in history? Here are 25 worst product flops you might remember.
Back in 1991, the idea of a handheld computer was the stuff of science fiction. But Apple had the idea and pitched it to then CEO John Sculley. They called it the Apple Newton, a handheld PDA that could do very basic computing like managing calendars and taking notes. The only problem was the Handwriting technology didn’t really work like they promised and the whole thing fell apart at launch. People wondered why they should replace a $5 notebook for a $700 piece of junk. The Apple Newton was scrapped almost as quickly as it hit the market.
Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water
In the 1990s, bottled water was everywhere, growing at such an incredible rate every company wanted in on the market share. So, the suits at Coors couldn’t help themselves and made a product called “Coors Rocket Mountain Spring Water.” Clearly, customers were confused if it was alcohol or not and the product was pulled two years later.
Wow! Chips packed quite a punch, but we’re not exactly talking about the taste. Marketed by Frito-Lay in 1998, the Wow! Chips were fat-free and included Olestra, a substance that’ll act as a laxative if you eat too much. The FDA required the Wow! Chips put a warning label on the front of the bag. Initial sales were great for the product until people found out about what Olestra does and it’s high flying sales belly-flopped.
In 1985, the Coca-Cola product had been slipping in sales for over fifteen years. The push to revitalize the product had been ongoing inside the company. So, they released “New Coke” which was a completely new recipe. The firestorm, of course, is the stuff of legend. Suddenly, people weren’t so happy that Coca-Cola was messing with their precious beverage. Customers hoarded all the original Coca-Cola they could in fear the product would be gone forever. Instead, Coca-Cola just released it as “Coca-Cola Classic” and eventually “New Coke” disappeared.
In the old days, there was only one type of Oreo. Nowadays, there are a ton of different flavors and types of Oreos and some that have left many consumers scratching their heads. Enter Watermelon Oreos. Two things that shouldn’t co-exist in the same place. Thankfully, Nabisco got the memo fairly quickly and pulled the product.