Whether it is skinny jeans and asymmetric haircuts or stuffed animals and comfortable but unattractive shoes, fads are always coming and going. Some fads, however, don't seem to go anywhere. Here are some unique products that were assumed to be a passing fancy, but stuck around anyway. (You can use fads to help your investing, read Using Consumer Spending As A Market Indicator.)

  • Bottled Water
    When the first cases of bottled water hit supermarket shelves, many people wondered why they should pay for something they have always gotten for free. Apparently, the package makes all the difference. In 2006, the global bottled water market was valued at approximately $60.9 billion. By 2011, the market is expected to grow to $86.4 billion.

  • Pet Clothing and Accessories
    Many people took dog fashion for a joke, but retailers are the ones laughing all the way to the bank. Approximately 62% of all American households own a pet, and 77.5 million of those pets are dogs. In 2008, pet-related spending was approximately $43.4 billion. Right behind pet food, dog supplies and accessories accounted for the largest portion of sales dollars associated with pets.

  • Energy Drinks
    Energy drinks are designed to give their consumers a temporary boost, and they've created a permanent position for themselves in the drink market. Since the 1990s, the now-popular drinks have grown to provide a massive, lasting boost to the bottom lines of many drink manufacturers. Some critics initially dismissed energy drinks because of their main ingredients (sugar and caffeine) and lack of mainstream appeal. Granted, people may not be sipping on energy drinks around their dinner tables, but sales in bars, restaurants and gas stations more than pick up the slack. The domestic market for energy drinks is expected to exceed $9 billion by 2011.

  • Tickle Me Elmo
    This Sesame Street character had been reaching kids in living rooms everywhere via the television for years. In 1996, Mattel released a doll version of the lovable Muppet. When squeezed repeatedly, Tickle Me Elmo would shake and laugh. Since then, several editions of the popular doll have remained on the wish lists of children nationwide. Last year, the original Tickle Me Elmo was re-released. (Hit the mall and shop for future investments. Read Analyzing Retail Stocks.)

  • Harry Potter
    The first book in this seven part series, "Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone" was originally published in Britain in 1997. Soon after, its name was altered for release in the United States and the rest is history. Several of the books were adapted into box office record-breaking movies, and the series has also been translated into over 60 different languages. Once dubbed a fad, the tales of "the boy who lived" turned J.K. Rowling into the first person to become a billionaire by writing books.

  • "LIVESTRONG"-Type Bracelets
    These unusually thick rubber bands picked up momentum in 2004, when Lance Armstrong began sporting the bright yellow "LIVESTRONG" bracelet on his wrist. Armstrong's bracelets drew attention to a good cause, and other groups quickly latched on to this silicone phenomenon. These bracelets are cheap, easy to customize and they don't appear to be going away any time soon.

  • Diets
    Every fad diet offers a supposedly new solution to deal with age old problem of wanting to lose weight. In recent years, some of the most popular diets have included the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet and the Lemonade Diet. Each diet may follow a boom and bust cycle, but the field of products or plans offering quicker than usual weight loss always seems to have customers.

Nothing is certain in the world of fads other than the fact that new ones are born every day. For each one that emerges, another awaits to take its place. Even for the fads that have managed to achieve a longer than average shelf life, the clock is ticking. (Learn more in Make Money With The Consumer Cyclical And Staple Indicator.)

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups that Emerged in London

    Learn why London's startup scene is so prolific, and identify some of the hottest companies emerging from this scene as of mid-2015.
  2. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The 4 Biggest Private Equity Firms in London

    Discover information about the largest private equity firms that are headquartered in London, ranked by total assets under management.
  3. Retirement

    Retirement Planning for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

    If your business has receiveables, here's a smart way to leverage them to build up your retirement fund fast.
  4. Investing

    The 8 Best Business and Finance T.V. Shows

    With so many talking heads to choose from, which is the right show for your business and money matter needs? We review the best shows on now.
  5. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Biggest Private Equity Firms in San Francisco

    Learn about some of the larger private equity firms with a presence in San Francisco, including KKR, the Blackstone Group and Warburg Pincus.
  6. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Companies of Peter Theil's Founders Fund

    Learn about the major public companies that Peter Thiel has invested in and companies that are on the verge of going public at multibillion-dollar valuations.
  7. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Biggest Private Equity Firms in Los Angeles

    Learn why Los Angeles is a thriving market for private equity, and identify the five largest private equity firms operating in the city.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    What Does Bootstrap Mean?

    The term bootstrap refers to launching and building a business with little capital and no funding from outside sources.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Denver

    Learn why Denver is one of the hottest markets in America for startups, and identify five of the top startups that are emerging from the Denver market.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    How Does ClassPass Work and Make Money?

    Find out how ClassPass makes money, how the company aims to help both businesses and consumers, and why it has been so successful.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Venture Capitalist

    An investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or ...
  2. Freelancer

    A freelancer is an individual who earns money on a per-job or ...
  3. Donation-based Crowd Funding

    Donation-based crowdfunding is a way to source money for a project ...
  4. Provisional Patent Application

    A short-term means of protecting an invention that requires less ...
  5. Franchise disclosure document

    A Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is a legal document presented ...
  6. Michael Bloomberg

    Michael Bloomberg is one of the wealthiest persons in the world ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the benefits of prorating expenses?

    When a person prorates expenses between personal and business expenses, he is able to capture the maximum amount of tax benefits ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the relationship between research and development and innovation?

    Although it's possible to achieve innovation without research and development and it's possible to conduct research and development ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does the notion of the American Dream influence the US economy?

    The notion of the American Dream influences the U.S. economy because it creates the driving force behind the free enterprise ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do venture capitalist investors view sustainable growth in a startup?

    Venture capitalist investors view sustainable growth in a startup as necessary when considering investing in it. Typically, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can I protect my business from my spouse during a high net worth divorce?

    For high net worth individuals (HNWIs), deciding to end a marriage through divorce brings special circumstances to consider. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!