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Remember when there was chocolate, vanilla, and strawbery ice-cream?  Oh sure, there was the occasional French Vanilla, and maybe a butter pecan, but we seemed so much happier when the choices were simpler.

As a matter of fact, there are studies to show that that is exactly the case.  In 2000, psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper published a very interesting study. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review:

On one day, shoppers at an upscale food market saw a display table with 24 varieties of gourmet jam. Those who sampled the spreads received a coupon for $1 off any jam. On another day, shoppers saw a similar table, except that only six varieties of the jam were on display. The large display attracted more interest than the small one. But when the time came to purchase, people who saw the large display were one-tenth as likely to buy as people who saw the small display. 

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The story goes on to say that as the variety of choices of things like snacks, beer, and soft drinks increases in convenience stores, for example, sales and customer satisfaction actually goes down.  Let me repeat that.  The more choices we have, sales actually go down, and we end up being less happy.


What Happened to Vanilla Chocolate Chip?


So what's happened to the old standard of chocolate chip ice-cream?  Of course, an arguement could be made that over time, tastes simply change.  But the more obvious answer is that we have too many choices.

Photo by Yulia Matvienko on Unsplash
Photo by Yulia Matvienko on Unsplash

According to a story in the Robb Report, sales for vanilla chocolate chip ice-cream have dropped 22 percent in volume between 2018 through 2022.  Also, sales of vanilla fell 6.4 percent during the same period, while sales of cookies and cream rose a whopping 72.6 percent. 

Retailers are carrying vanilla chocolate chip less and less.  Some stores are only carrying it seasonally, usually in the summer.  It seems they are making room on their shelves for other flavors that are selling better.

Just don't mess with my MINT Chocolate Chip!

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