Responding to another thread about salads, I commented on the zillions of salad dressings on the market shelf. What product do you think has the greatest number of varieties (different brands/flavors/fat-salt free/etc)?
I suggest as a top 3 (in no particular order): salad dressing, salsa, barbecue sauce.
Depending on where you are, the Hot Sauce options can be downright dizzying. They take up less shelf space, but I bet they are right up there with cereal when it comes to distinct flavors/brands. Half the cereal aisle is just the same varieties in 5 different volumes/weights.
Wow - that surprises me. Cheese? Pasta? I wonder if they include various types of cheese/pasts. Such as dry bulk pasta, refrigerated, pasta products like Mac/Cheez, etc. Because they don’t all appear cheek-by-jowl like the BBQ sauces
Greek vs non-Greek. Low- vs no- vs full-fat. Real vs fake sweetener. Blended vs goop on bottom. That’s 24 options.
Times 6 brands times 12 flavors times 3 sizes. Comes right close to 5000 choices!
To be sure, any one store isn’t going to stock all 5000 permutations. But it has the effect that whichever cross-section of that 5000-type universe they do stock on any given visit seems to be both random and rotating.
I’m guessing they did a keyword search. You’re probably going to get a ton of hits for things with “cheese” or “pasta” in the name or description like Cheez-Itz, Cheesy Tuna Helper and Chef Boyardee. You’ll also get distinct hits for every single size/packaging option. There’s probably 25 versions of the same Kraft Sharp Cheddar product, 8 oz, 16 oz, finely grated, shredded, sliced, block etc.