Special Report

Biggest Product Flops of the Year

John Harrington, Grant Suneson, Evan Comen

Companies invest time, and energy on research, development, and advertising before launching a product in the fiercely competitive U.S. market. All of this work does not always pay off. Some products end up being huge flops, costing their companies millions of dollars.

A product can fail for many reasons. Bad reviews can irreparably damage a product’s reputation, and its sales. Often, competition with a superior product — or at least one that is perceived to be superior — can doom a launch. 

To determine the biggest product flops of the year, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed media reports and industry publications such as TechCrunch about consumer products that were critically panned, underperformed relative to their manufacturers’ expectations, or both in 2019. We considered launches in the technology, entertainment, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as others. 

Many of the products on this list failed because they did not work as advertised. Whether it was bugs in a video game, shoddy manufacturing on a tech product, or a medication that did not seem to cure the affliction for which it was made, the products either fell out of favor or never caught on in the first place. These are the most outrageous product claims of all time. 

Most companies can survive a failed product or two. Almost all of the companies on this list are massive multi-billion dollar corporations that have enough income from other sources that one big flop would not do much to hurt their bottom line. But for some of these companies, the failure was so catastrophic that it led to layoffs, financial ruin, and even dissolution of the company. These are the brands that disappeared over the last decade.

Click here to see the biggest product flops of the year