As Lakeland marks its 50th birthday we look back at ten of their most innovative and enduringly popular products from the last half century.
Lakeland is successful partly because of its innovative homewares products. Here are some of the most popular from the last 50 years.
The Remoska table-top cooker was introduced to the Lakeland range more than 12 years ago after being suggested by a customer. Originally it was used primarily as a camping cooker but its appeal has grown and the product is still one of Lakeland’s most popular. Made and tested by skilled workers in a small factory in the Czech Republic, Lakeland claims it cooks better than an oven and is positively miserly in its electricity use.
One of Lakeland’s most popular products of 2009, when it sold by the hundreds of thousand, the Poachpod cooks the perfect poached egg – which can elude even the most experienced chef – in a plastic or stainless steel pod that sits on the surface of boiling water. It can also be used as a mould for jelly or, as it’s oven-proof, in baking too.
3. My Kitchen 12-cup mini sandwich tin
Sometimes the most popular products are also the simplest. This nifty little tin, with straight sides and loose bottoms, has been a number-one seller in recent years. TV shows like The Great British Bake Off have inspired a whole new generation of younger customers to get baking, and Lakeland is taking full advantage with its products.
4. Freeze Easy Bags
The old ones are often the best. The fact that Lakeland still sells freezer bags is a nod to the 1970s, when the retailer made the most of a growing trend of home-freezing. Still in the Lakeland range now, Freeze Easy Bags are among the retailer’s most popular lines. They are heavy-grade to prevent freezer burn and come in a range of sizes.
5. Three-Tier Airer
This clever little device frees radiator space and costs just pennies per hour to run. It solves the perils of leaving clothes-drying up to the unreliable British weather, and as anyone who’s had to live in dinky digs will appreciate, it is a compact and economical way to dry clothes quickly.
6. Oven Mate
A five-star rated product that is still a hit with Lakeland’s customers, Oven Mate is a staple of the retailer’s business. The oven-cleaning range is not the most glamorous line of products, but it highlights Lakeland’s association with effective, functional, everyday items as well as the wackier kitchen gadgets.
Another tribute to Lakeland’s beginnings, Lammacs were among the very first agricultural products Alan Rayner sold to the farming community in his native Cumbria, when the business was a more home-spun affair. No longer sold by Lakeland – although still a vital product bought by farmers each year – lammacs were sold to keep baby lambs warm in cold weather.
8. Ice Cube Bags
Saviour of party-hosts for decades, Ice Cube Bags are another Lakeland staple and an example of a product that the retailer was first to introduce. Also launched in the 1970s home-freezer era, a version is still available from Lakeland today.
9. Loaf tin liners
A huge seller for decades, this is another product that isn’t flashy or complicated but that is useful. Lakeland says that despite their lack of glamour, loaf tin liners continue to attract new customers who discover the handy product every day. The silicone paper liner takes away the need to use a greased-up tin, and can withstand temperatures of up to 230°C in an oven.
10. Preserving products
Lakeland is reintroducing a range of products for home-preserving which, having been all the rage among the Good Life generation of the 1970s, had all but died away. Now though, the retailer says preserving is making a comeback, and, never one to fly in the face of trends, Lakeland has launched a range of products – including jars, bottles, funnels and pans – to make chutneys, jams and cordials at home.
Analysis: Lakeland at 50 - from agricultural past to international future
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Analysis: Lakeland's best-selling products of the last 50 years