I can hear your grandmother now.
Of course it’s enough. Six varieties of cereal is more than enough to cover our breakfast needs.
But what about our wants? Our fancy? Our desire to be overwhelmed with specialness?
Here’s a hotel, working hard to turn the most profitable meal of the day (breakfast, by a longshot) into something even more profitable.
They get pretty good turnover. The cereal is sealed. So why offer only six choices as part of the $17 "buffet"? Why offer just one kind of tea? One kind of bread that you toast yourself?
The cost of offering 40 kinds of cereal is close to zero. The cost to offering 100 kinds of tea is about the same. No, we don’t need it, but we don’t need to eat in the hotel either. And yes, you’d be sure to tell people about it. "Hey, you know what I had for breakfast? A mixture of Cap’n Crunch, Quisp (who knew they even made Quisp any more! and Honeycomb!! And I had it with chocolate soymilk and M & Ms on top."
You get to be a kid again for less than twenty bucks.
Of course, once everyone starts using variety as a tool to be remarkable, it won’t be remarkable any more. But for now, and for a while to come, buy more cereal.