Too Many Choices Spoil The Shopping

Jun 14, 2004

By George Anderson

A report out of the UK, The Explosion of Choice: Tyranny or Freedom, concludes consumers are being overwhelmed by the number of product choices available to them in the
typical supermarket.

The report’s author and psychologist, Dr. Aric Sigman, told The Mirror, “I wanted to see whether Western assumptions regarding greater choice bringing greater happiness
was true. They aren’t.

“Choice is beneficial up to a point. But limitations, restrictions and boundaries can have a strangely liberating effect.”

Dr. Sigman’s research noted the average supermarket carried 87 different cereals, 83 shampoos, 68 shower gels and 42 deodorants.

“Humans now have to make more decisions in a single day than a caveman did in a lifetime,” he concluded.

Moderator’s Comment: Are consumers being swamped with too many product choices?

A consumer, Louise Walker, 42, from East Sheen, South London, interviewed for The Mirror article said, “There’s too much choice nowadays. If I’m
in a rush, I just go for a familiar brand or packaging that appeals to me.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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