Spoilt for Choice; Supermarket Shoppers Are Hit by 'Product Claustrophobia'
SUPERMARKET shoppers now face such a huge variety of goods, they can end up totally bewildered, according to a study.
As they prowl the aisles, they have to pick from dozens of varieties of the same type of product, while lavish advertising claims only make the task harder.
The result is a growing number of customers suffering 'product claustrophobia' says the report, 'The Explosion of Choice: Tyranny or Freedom'.
Research in an average- sized supermarket in central London illustrated some of the choices shoppers regularly have to make.
On offer were 83 different shampoos, 68 shower gels, 42 deodorants, 77 washing powders and 87 rival breakfast cereals.
Shopper Louise Walker, 42, agreed the amount of choice available often left her head spinning.
'I came in to buy a packet of chocolate biscuits and have to pick from 17 different types,' said Miss Walker, a medical sales rep from East Sheen, south London.
'There is too much choice nowadays. If I'm in a rush I just go for the brand I'm most familiar with and packaging that appeals to me.' Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman, who wrote the report, said: 'Humans now have to make more decisions in a single day than a caveman did in a lifetime.
'Each decision - whether to take your holiday in Benidorm or Bolivia or which anti- dandruff shampoo to buy - is an act of information processing. …