Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Too Many Choices?

Two years ago Coca-Cola announced a new dispensing machine that could mix over 100 flavors. They have been used in several parts of the country, and are now coming into Chattanooga, Tennessee. A chain called Taco Mac, which I am not familiar with, is installing them in their restaurants. I think before the summer is over I will go to one just to check this machine out. Of course, this machine leads to the question, 'Just how many choices do we need when it comes to sodas?'

We live in a world today, where we have almost too many choices to make. If you have the full cable-television package, or a dish, you have a large selection of what channels you can watch. Growing up, we only had three major networks. Most people today would get upset if those were the only choices that they had. I'm not complaining about the multiple choices that we have, but sometimes it does feel like there is a sensory overload with the decisions that we have to make.

Fast food is another area where you have plenty of choices to make. Just using Calhoun as an example, there is one stretch where within half a mile you can find McDonald's, Arby's, KFC, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Chic-Fil-A, Checkers, Pizza Hut, Zaxby's, Subway and Bojangles. That doesn't count 2 Mexican restaurants, an Italian restaurant, a Chinese buffet, a Japanese restaurant, a sandwich shop, and a pizza buffet, not to mention 2 grocery stores. If you go hungry on that stretch of road, that is your fault.

When I was working frozen foods, there were many times you would see people just walking back and forth between the cases trying to decide what they wanted to eat. Several of them made the comment that they couldn't make up their minds, because there were too many choices. Having all of that is a good thing, but where do you draw the line at? Another part of the problem, especially when it comes to food, is that people seem to get bored with certain items and are always wanting to try something new. One of the problems that comes into play, when somebody succeeds with a product and then all of a sudden you have 10 copycats trying to grab a piece of the same pie.

Getting back to Taco Mac, they now have an extensive beverage assortment. In addition to all of the Coke flavors, they also serve 250 different types of beer. The place is a beer drinkers paradise, but unfortunately for them I do not drink beer. I will just stick with the exotic Coke flavors. Here is a video that has been posted on YouTube that demonstrates how this Coke machine works.

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