Does America Really Need...

In the supermarket today I noticed that nearly all the shelves on one of the aisles had nothing but potato chips: regular, crinkled, lime, garlic, super size, jalapena, etc. I may have missed some, but I counted 110 different brands, styles, and types of potato chips a consumer can chose from. Do we really need that much choice?

Yes, we do. Because you don’t understand the superiority of the potato chip that I prefer.

http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_09_06_a_ketchup.html

They aren’t there because you need them. They’re there because the manufacturers need to sell them.

It’s not like there was a Federal law requiring diversity in potato chip offerings.

The manufacturers produce what they (and their market researchers) think will sell. If the product moves, they continue it; if not, they drop it from the line.

It’s common for big city supermarkets to serve customers of dozens of ethnicities/nationalities. Walk up and down every aisle, and be amazed at the range of items offered.

… and are *able *to sell them.

As far as I’m concerned, the only style that needs to stay is dill pickle. The others can go.
Can you imagine that dill pickle flavoured chips are not even available in Europe?

Snyder’s of Hanover Kosher Dill chips are the true pinnacle of pickle flavoured chips.

Pickled onion is though, and cheese and onion, beef and onion, onion and rosemary, and roast chicken, prawn cocktail, smokey bacon, scampi, lamb and mint, curry, thai green curry, bacon and egg, fish and chips, worcester sauce, cheese and bacon, mango chilli, turkey and stuffing, Thai Sweet Chilli, Roasted Chicken & Thyme, Roasted Tomato & Aromatic Spices, Vintage Cheddar & Onion Chutney, Balsamic Vinegar & Caramelised Onion, Southern Style Barbecue, Buffalo Mozzarella & Herbs, Oriental Red Curry, Smoked Monterrey Chilli with Goats Cheese, and many years ago, hedgehog. And that’s just the commonly-available ones that are ‘potato crisps’ rather than wheat-based or anything else; plus Idid’t mention the ones the US also has. I don’t think the US has as wide a variety of crisps flavours as England does.

110 is astonishing though. OP, are you including different sizes too?

Excerpted from Down With Big Brother: The Fall of the Soviet Empire by Michael Dobbs

With the end of the Cold War, market liberalization in China, and even the introduction of market reforms in Cuba, I suppose it could be said that America doesn’t need the variety of choices you see in your supermarket. But I’d say that there’s no better way to broadcast the decline of America to the world than to stock our shelves with only one kind of Doritos.

Omigod, you know what would be* awesome?* Chicken-flavored potato chips! Like Chicken in a Biscuit, only potato chips!

Apparently they have those in France.

we have a lot of chicken chips up here.

teriyaki chicken, tandoori chicken etc :stuck_out_tongue: Plain chicken… I dont think so.

There are some mentioned in the list above.

And they were lost in the confusion! QED. :stuck_out_tongue:

The sad thing is that in spite of this abundance of flavors, it’s still hard to find Ketchup flavored chips in many American stores.

Or because we need to buy them. We need to buy something, and the manufacturers give us convenient justifications–namely, dill-flavored potato chips, &ect.

No. I shudder to think of the total if I did.

That’s the real truth. Manufacturers of the various items that are sold in grocery stores introduce literally thousands of new items every year (mostly new flavors, new sizes, etc. of existing brands; totally new brands are fairly uncommon). Every time a grocery store decides to begin stocking a new item, they’re going to be getting rid of an existing item to make room. If an item doesn’t sell well enough, the retailer isn’t going to hesitate to cut it in favor of a new item which sells better. This is true on both the small scale (i.e., replacing one snack-food item with another) and on the larger scale (i.e., taking an area of shelf space which used to be occupied with a different category, and placing snack foods in that space).

In short: there are that many types of potato chip because consumers buy that many types of potato chip. Whether we need that many is another discussion entirely, but has no relevance to what your grocery store puts on the shelf.

Probably not–crisps seem to be bigger in in the UK.

Me, I only like tortilla chips and maybe some SunChips sometimes. How popular are tortilla chips in the UK, anyway?

It could be worse.