Consumer Overload



I am reposting this from the Eclectic Global Nomad blog:

I was walking around a supermarket the other day with a friend of mine who commented on how many different kinds of the same thing were for sale. Why do there need to be so many? How do you choose?

I have been suffering from consumer overload for a long time so I knew exactly what he meant. When I lived in Europe, there were no such things as supermarkets.  At least not like the ones in the USA. There were small grocery markets, open markets, and specialty stores. If you wanted bread, you went to the bakery. Cheese was at the cheese store. Meat was at the butcher. You had choices. French, wheat, rye bread. Gouda, cheddar, mozzarella. Steak, rib, chop. But you did not have to decide between Pepperidge Farm, Arnold, Nature’s Own, Sara Lee, Wonder….. This didn’t only apply to food. Buying a headache remedy could be a real challenge.

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  1. Good observation, Kathy. I remember the transition in reverse. It’s easy to buy bread in Russia…black or brown? But the return to supermarket PLUS is difficult to adjust to, even when repatriating.

  2. Agree. My problem is when I like a particular item or brand and “they” remove it and promote their own brand or a newer/different one instead. Prefer Trader Joe’s – a smaller selection of good quality wares.

  3. Such a good point. Here in Hong Kong I am constantly flummoxed about which eggs to buy (really!): white eggs from the US, cheaper (melamine-laced?) eggs from China, omega-3 enriched eggs from Japan, cage-free eggs from the UK that cost a small fortune, generic eggs from Thailand, generic eggs from Malaysia.

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