A recent visit to your mom and pop shop might give you an idea what explosion of choices mean. It literally means that – an explosion.
The general assumption of consumer behavior tells us that consumers prefer to choose. When the bakery has only one type of bread, thats readily termed as not a good bakery compared to the one down the road which has more than one kind. Hence the outrageous number of choices.
However, in recent times another assumption of consumer behavior is taking precedence. That is, when consumers are faced with too many choices, that is also not a very good situation to be in for the consumers. Simply speaking, too many choices confuse the consumers.
In Chicago, two of the highest selling restaurants give only two kind of options. One restaurant asks whether you want to take a vegetable meal or a non vegetable meal. The other asks whether you want X number of food items in small dishes or in really tiny dishes. Thats it. What food they will serve is limited to the chefs choice and that is only one type of food everyday. And believe it or not, that kind of strict adherence and stubbornness is whats appealing to consumers. Shouldnt be too difficult to fathom. Just think about the countless hours you have sepnt discussing and arguing your friends and family about what restaurant to go and what to order.
This kind of gentle nudge towards certain options is actually quite beneficial. And that benefit is not only limited to consumers (you are making a decision on hisbehalf) but also to producers. Think about how much you can save from limited inventory ordering and carrying cost.