“Why do manufacturers persist with such a variety of unit sizes of, especially, lager, sweets and biscuits? Do they not know that it annoys shopkeepers and customers?”

These questions come from Redmond Hanlon, who trades as Bakery Stores in Winkleigh, Devon. He has more questions, too. “Why does lager come in 440ml, 500ml and 568ml cans? In a pub, you get a pint or a half! Why do Cadbury’s chocolate blocks come in 90g, 95g, 120g, 230g, 360g… why do McVitie’s biscuits come in 200g, 250g, 300g, 400g, 2x500g, 2x600g, 300g+33% extra? It has always been thus (during my 30 years as a village shopkeeper), but I am still perplexed and irritated!”

This is a subject I’d like to explore, although no doubt suppliers would babble on about consumer choice, market research, supermarket requirements, special promotional packs, limited editions. What’s wrong with ‘small, medium and large’, and in many cases you only need two choices (mine’s a large one, thanks).

And what do the rest of you think of manufacturers launching variations on a theme so that you get mini-maxi-chunky-sharing selections as they spin out their major brand into as many ‘extensions’ as possible? Easier, I guess, to cover more categories rather than launch something completely new.

The Germans have a neat expression for it: die Qual der Wahl. It means the torture or agony of choice. It’s used a lot; it rhymes, it rolls pleasingly around the tongue. Like chocolate. Or biscuits.