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Britain’s Most Popular Products in the Last 50 Years

Manufacturers make a fortune from brand loyalty. The term is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as ‘the habit of always buying a product with the same name, made by the same company’. Throughout the years, companies have strived to get a product that grabs a nation’s attention. Here, we look at which products were successful in Britain.

Sony Trinitron

Nowadays, the thought of not having a colour television set may seem ludicrous. However, you only have to roll back the years to 1968 to find the first modern colour television. Originally, this was a 12-inch model and worked on unique selling points which focused on picture quality and ease of use. Before this brand was ditched in 2008, there were over 100 million Trinitron TVs sold worldwide.

Sony Walkman

The tech giants continued their British invasion in the late ‘70s as the Sony Walkman was introduced. The device allowed users to choose what they listened to — either pre-recorded tapes, or radio frequencies. Its prominence soon saw the word Walkman enter the English dictionary in 1986. During its 30-year lifespan, there were over 220 million of the cassette players sold across the world.


If you were a nineties child, there’s an extremely high chance that you once owned this digital pet. The fad of looking after virtual animals in your pocket kicked off in 1997 and, by 2010, over 76 million Tamagotchis had been sold across the globe. The nineties nostalgia threatened to make a comeback in 2019 too, as the retro revival took full swing.

A study has shown that 57% of parents like to purchase a toy for their kids that they previously played with, so expect Bandai and its new Tamagotchi On model to gather the attention of young ones once again.

Apple iPhone

In the UK, three quarters of adults are said to currently suffer from nomophobia. This means that they fear being without their phone! In early 2019, the top three devices in the UK were all iPhones, with the iPhone 7 holding almost 10 per cent of the market share. In the 10 most popular phones, a staggering eight devices were Apple iPhones! However, it wasn’t just the Brits who flocked for Apple’s creation — residents in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Russia, and Poland all had the iPhone as their number one choice of device too.

Vauxhall Astra

It’s not just fancy gadgets in our homes our pockets that have caught our attention, either. Throughout the years, Vauxhall has been at the forefront of British driving. The oldest surviving UK car brand, founded in 1857, has an array of popular cars in its ranks. After all, two of the top five cars of all time in Britain were made by the manufacturer. The Astra is the third best-selling vehicle in the UK, with one in four of us Brits either owning or driven an Astra at some point in our life while the smaller Vauxhall Corsa is the fifth most sold over time.

It goes without saying that there are a lot of items, devices, and products that have been popular throughout recent decades, all of which can revive those nostalgic feelings from within. While the above list only touches on several popular creations, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds.