#3 - More choice might trigger indulgence

When the product is desirable instead of functional, shoppers flooded with a range of choices will focus on quality, and not price.
— Journal of Marketing Research 2011, by Sheena Iyengar, S.T. Lee, Marco Bertini, and Luc Wathieu.

When shoppers face proliferation of choice for indulgent products(20+ SKUs of chocolate or wine), they are more likely to select superior products and pay more for them. A switch to inferior products becomes less attractive.

A known phenomenon states that for many upscale goods, while variety has increased, prices have also increased - contrary to economic models that find competition leads to lower prices.

Research found that participants offered 20+ choices were prepared to pay 40% more for high-quality chocolate and 33% less for a low-quality chocolate than their counterparts who selected the same SKUs among only 5 choices.


Good news for premium indulgent products on busy supermarket shelves. As for regular brands - avoid being next to your upscale competitors, show up on secondary displays.