One of our favorites at the SBDC is Darrell Zahorsky at
http://sbinformation.about.com/ and given that I love jelly beans this one really interested me!
What Your Small Business Can Learn From Jelly Beans
An unusual experiment with Six Kinds of Jelly Beans at Wharton School University of Pennsylvania found that the more variety a consumer thinks they have the more they will consume. The jellybean study found it’s not an actual change in the variety of jellybeans but if people thought there was more variety they consumed more.
For example, people ate more of 24 kinds of jelly beans when organized as opposed to scrambled. But when subjects just had a mix of 6 types of jelly beans they ate more of the disorganized batch over the organized. They thought the disorganized batch had more variety and consumed more.
What is the lesson here…consider the assortment or variety of your product offerings. A simple change in the configuration of your products could increase consumption or sales. A cafeteria discovered by increasing the size of the food trays patrons consumed more. Although we live in a society with unlimited choices, as consumers we want to have control and options available. Even the simple task of giving blood can be altered by choice. Blood donors experienced less perceived pain when they had a choice of which arm the blood would be drawn from.