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On The Matters of Jam and Mustard

Yesterday's blog on trust certainly didn't set any records for posts. Serious topics seldom do. So today I'm going back to the tried and true: Food!

I love condiments and so do most people (my oldest son hates them however). In days back, it used to be easy to buy jam and mustard. Smucker's strawberry jam. What else? French's mustard. What else?

Today when you visit your local Kroger, there are more than 200 varieties of jam and more than 100 varieties of mustard. Mind you, both go on a piece of bread.

But there's a point I'm coming to. In one documented test, a supermarket put out two sample tables of jams. One table had 5 assorted flavors and the other table had 25. With an equal number of people stopping at each table, which table do you think sold more jam?

If you guessed the table with 25, you were absolutely wrong. Researchers who studied this experiment came to the conclusion that when people are given too many choices, more often than not, they opt not to make any choice. Research proved that offering less selection yields greater sales.

Think about this for a moment. Burger King and Wendy's have always advertised "Have it your way" suggesting you can doctor up your burger anyway you want it. At McDonald's, you get it the way they want you to get it. McDonald's wins every time.

You buy a dozen bagels or donuts. The typical number of choices is 20-25. Invariably, you pick the same assortment each time you buy them. That is why most shops produce 80% of their volume from only 20% of their selection.

We are now in a period of opposite voracious consumption. Less is the new more. Think about your offerings in the salon/spa. Too many? Most likely.

In the end, when it comes to jams, I love these five in order: Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Marmalade and Apricot. When it comes to mustards, I really only like three: Dijon, French original, and Buttercup Honey.

Jams and mustards. Now there's something worth talking about.

Happy Thursday!

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