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Choice Overload and Groceries

Updated on October 22, 2013

If you’re the one who grocery shops in your house hold then you would know that too much choice can be a burden. Take your choices of bread. You can have enriched white, stonemill, twelve grain, sunflower and flax seed, quinoa and that is just one brands choice options. The great the choice options for people the greater possibility of buyers regret. You get home after finally picking one kind of bread and you make your first sandwich and think oh man, honey oat would have tasted so much better with peanut butter instead of twelve grain.

When was the last time you had Chinese takeout? How many items were on the restaurant’s menu? More than fifty, more than a hundred maybe more than a hundred and fifty choices! I know at one of my local restaurants they have more than a hundred and eighty. Once while sitting down my friend and I took the time to go through a sample for fifty items each and categorize what was unique with each dish. It worked out that there were five differentiators, your choice or rice or noodle, your choice of meat, what vegetables were included and the level of spiciness.

Wouldn’t it be easier to choose from three types of noodles, then your choice of chicken, beef, fish or pork, then your vegetables and then finally how spicy you wanted your dish made rather than sort and sift through a hundred and eighty five menu items?

That is a pretty clear example of choice overload but what happens when people feel they don’t have a choice. It’s either A or B

The freedom or implied freedom that choice gives us is something we all feel very strongly about. If we’re not given a choice then we feel the restricted and confrontational, who’s this restaurant to tell me what I want to eat.

It’s a double edge sword and then when we are given the option of fully loaded a mid option and a bare bones model we often choose the middle option.

So I ask this, if you had the choice to go to a restaurant or food truck or where ever. They only served one dish, no options but they were the best in your city and well known for that one specific dish, would you go?

I am finding, myself, that the more choice I’m given the more similarities I see between the options and they all start to look the same


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