Our Illusion of Choice

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Isn’t it wonderful to have so much choice when shopping for consumer goods? Take a look at all the different products on the grocery and drug store shelves. There must be hundreds of different companies making all those products.

Right?

Uh, no.

(Click on the picture to embiggen…)

What Choice Do We Have?

It turns out that all the products are made by a a small group of companies. Back in the 80s, I remember a bunch of creepy ads that displayed a lot of seemingly unrelated products and then said “We’re Beatrice.” Some company decided not enough people knew that they owned everything so they ran ads.

Who knows, maybe everything is actually made by one company named Beatrice.

Is it just me that thinks it’s creepy that only a few companies make everything? Maybe nobody cares and just wants their crap to be cheap.

It does say something that people put so much faith into brands when in many cases it is just a label and the product is rolling off the same assembly line as the other products and made by the same people. And those same assembly lines may be making the competitors products later in the same day’s shift.

But at least we have choice!

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