Consumption of durable goods has increased over the past 60 years. Data shows that 42.3 billion dollars was spent on consumer durable goods in the US in December 1960 compared to a whopping 1,948.1 billion dollars spent in December 2021. That is about 46 times the amount of money spent in 1960 on durable consumables.
In case you are wondering what consumer durable goods are, InvestingAnswers defines durable consumer goods as goods that have an extended product life.
This means that products that fall in this category have a longer lifespan than non-durable consumer goods and are generally more expensive.
I have put together a list of top durable consumer goods in descending order. Let’s take a look at some of the top durable consumer goods that we have in the world today.
Number 1 will surprise you.
Let’s say in the spirit of inclusiveness, toys just had to make this list even though all the spending is done by parents. Toys are generally considered to be consumer durable goods. They can remain with a child far into their teens or be passed from sibling to sibling.
The Toy Association mentioned that a total of 38.1 billion US dollars was spent on toys in the US in 2021 alone, a 14.2% increase from what was spent in 2020. Fortune business Insight gives a broader perspective with 64.91 billion spent on educational toys globally.
This is a whole lot of cash but I am all in for investing in toys provided they help in child development.
9. Sports equipment:
You may argue that a good run on the beach, crunches, and a long walk can give a person the cardio they require daily. Ever wondered how someone can play hockey without a hockey stick or go rowing without a canoe?
Sporting equipment is a combination of sporting outfits, tools, and gears used in both competitive sports and workouts. Now think about it; baseball bats, golf sticks, skateboards, bicycles, fishing lines, tennis rackets… the list is endless.
Now you know why this made our list. Sports equipment is generally used in recreational and competitive sports and is considered to be one of the top consumer durable goods. Sporting goods can be costly or affordable depending on the type and quality of the product.
With an estimated global value of 193 billion US dollars in 2021 alone, sporting goods are a very big draw and deserve a spot on our list.
8. Vehicles and Automobiles:
They say grown men do not stop having toys, they only graduate to bigger toys. Well here is another toy that I believe every grown-up should splurge on.
Vehicles and automobiles have made our lives much easier. Over the years, we have witnessed a dramatic change in the style and efficiency of vehicles and automobiles. Gone are the days when a car, bike, or boat was merely an object by which you moved from one place to another. These machines have gone beyond being a mode of transportation to becoming a symbol of style and affluence.
Cars and other vehicles such as boats and bikes play a significant role in the way we live our daily lives. Having an average lifespan of 8 years, these “toys” are undoubtedly consumer durable goods that we have come to rely on for transportation purposes.
Whether you are a car lover, a biker or you love the waters and have the buck to settle for a yacht, there are a number of automobile brands and vehicles for you to choose from. The list is endless.
Now tell me, what’s your favourite automobile?
In the “kingdom” of vehicles, the Airplane is king. The airplane takes the cake for being one of the most important vehicles in the world today. They have become so important because of their speed when compared to ships.
Apart from planes conveying people from place to place, Airplanes are also used to transport perishable goods, donor organs, and medical supplies in moments of emergency. No wonder they are regarded as one of the best consumer durable goods in the world.
In 2019, 4.5 billion people boarded airlines globally, generating a whopping 838 billion dollars in revenue. This number was halved by 50% in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furniture is a durable consumer good that you will most likely have in your house for a really long time. In fact, a good number of homeowners may keep the same furniture in their houses and pass them on to younger generations. Think of chairs, tables, beds, and the list goes on.
Furniture has various uses depending on the part of the home or office where it is used. They provide comfort and beauty to any home. often times, they are made with materials such as wood and metal that can last for decades.
Furniture may not be as flashy as they once were due to higher demands to satisfy a growing population however, they are still considered to be one of the most valuable pieces of your home.
5. Industrial Machinery:
The rise in manufacturing has seen the demand for production machines rise is a growing need for industrial machinery as there is an increasing demand for quality and efficiency in manufacturing processes.
The increase in demand has been attributed to advances in technologies and engineering systems that include robotics, fluid power technology, and CNC machining centers among others.
Industrial machinery are usually related to mechanical, electrical, and manufacturing systems and can be quite expensive depending on the range of machines you need. For instance, a single piece of industrial machinery may cost you millions of Naira.
It is estimated that a total of 13 billion US dollars was spent on industrial machinery in 2021 alone. It is one of the highest selling durable consumer goods on the market today.
It only makes sense that electronics are included in this list. Electronics have become a part of our lives and have become very affordable to most consumers compared to many other consumer durable goods on our list.
Electronics, as we know them today, are made up of portable computing devices that can be used for multiple purposes. They are capable of going anywhere with us, keeping us connected to the world and making life more convenient.
I bet you are reading this article on one of such devices.
They offer a range of functions that include communication, entertainment, household cleaning and many more. Many household electronic devices have an average lifespan of 9 years even though they can live longer. Given their functionality and durability, It is quite obvious that these devices should feature in our list.
I have a 30-year-old sandwich maker that has remained strong every passing year. Which electronic device is the oldest in your home?
“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”
They say women can never have enough jewelry. I can’t agree more. Jewelry is any piece that adorns the body. It consists of rings, bangles, necklaces, earrings, and other decorative pieces. They can be made from gold, diamond, stones, bones, and a host of other materials.
Jewelry is one of the most sought-after consumer durable goods in the world today. Many people buy jewelry as an investment and sell it after prices have appreciated.
Some jewelry has also remained in families for many years becoming an “external DNA” as my uncle would say. This earns them a spot on our top 3 consumer durable goods list.
Fortune Business Insight states that the jewelry market size was 330 billion in 2019. This number dropped significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic but is expected to rise in the coming years. That is such a huge market for the very tiny pieces.
2. Medical equipment
Forgive my bias but I just had to make this one number 2 on our list because of their service to the preservation of humankind. A lot of us have spent time in the hospital either visiting our loved ones or receiving treatment. Medical equipment is one of the most important pieces in a hospital.
Medical equipment is any item used to maintain health and help people to live longer. Among such equipment are Scan machines, microscopes, wheelchairs, ventilators, and a list of other life-saving machines. Some of this equipment is used in diagnosing diseases, while some are used in the treatment of diseases.
I am no health expert but you will agree with me when I say these machines help to save lives and deserve a spot on our list due to their service and durability.
A big thumbs up also to the engineers and health experts who make these machines work.
I bet you have a bookshelf in your house; perhaps an e-library. Books play a vital role in the education of children and adults alike and are actually one of the oldest durable consumer goods in the world.
From the ages when scrolls were used till these recent times, Books can last for decades given the proper care and maintenance. They are made from paper, cardboard, cloth, and several other materials that come together to make one of the most valuable items of your home school and office.
Most people do not throw away a book once it has been read. Some keep it for reference or as a family heirloom. Since its inception, the availability of books has increased tremendously so much so that global literacy rates have increased by 20% over the last 40 years.
Books have enabled the transfer of knowledge from generation to generation and also helped us understand documented history. For this reason, this small, fragile but very durable piece is our number 1 consumer durable good on the list.
With the advent and progress of technology and the cloud, maybe books could be scrapped and replaced with e-books on the cloud. Till then, books remain the champion of the season.
In conclusion, we can see that all consumer durable goods on our list are man-made. Consumer durable goods have always been an important part of our lives since civilisation and will remain so for a really long time.
As we continue to harness technology for societal benefit, let us remember the golden rule of sustainability; SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption.