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Why variety is the spice of life (and what this means for your business)

By JACKIE BARRIE Published 29th Jul 2013
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I saw an experiment on TV where two bowls of sweets were placed on a table at the entrance to the office, under a sign saying 'please help yourself'. One bowl contained multi-coloured sweets; the second bowl contained only blue sweets.

It turned out that the bowl of multi-coloured sweets was emptied far sooner than the bowl of blue sweets.

Why? Because people took a big handful of the multi-coloured sweets to make sure they got one of each colour, but only took – I think - an average of three single-colour sweets, because that was enough.

Similarly, people apparently eat about 40% more when they help themselves from a buffet compared with being served a plateful of food.

With this trend in mind, some restaurants are starting to offer three or four mini-cakes as dessert, at a price that is greater than the price of a single dessert.

It seems that:

  • People like choice
  • People like having a little taste of everything
  • People will pay more for a little variety

So how can you use this idea in your marketing?

photo credit: Lynne Hand via photopin cc
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