Posted September 20 2003 - 02:49 PM
| We think you have far too much choice of consumer goods. This is often interpreted as envy - it's not. We just can't work out why you need so many types of breakfast cereal. |
In all reality, the reason for so many choices has absolutely nothing
to with the fact that we NEED them.
The real reason is because of "Marketing" - Shelf space is GOLD in the supermarket. To take your cereal example - Let's say the cereal isle (for example) has 100 designated 'spots' to put cereal. If General Mills only produced "Corn Chex" then they would only be allowed 1 'spot' to put their cereal and the other 99 'spots' would be filled with competitors cereal. This would basically surround GM's cereal and they wouldn't have much presence in the cereal isle.
So what does GM do? They come out with 'Rice Chex', 'Bran Chex', 'Corn Chex with nuts', 'Corn Chex with raisins', etc., etc., etc. This way they now have a reason to occupy MORE shelf space in the supermarket because they have MORE product. They actually could care less if some cereals even sell well, it's all about PRESENCE and getting more of your product on the shelves so that consumers would have a better chance of buying your stuff over the competitors.
The same goes with salad dressings and soda, etc. Do you really think it's necessary for Ken's to have "Russian Dressing", "Thousand Island Dressing", "Lite Russian", "Lite Thousand Island", etc. etc.
So it has nothing to do with the fact that Americans need so many 'choices', it's more of a tug of war between companies, the shelf space, and who can dominate the isles.