Malcom Gladwell’s TED talk dwelled on the fact that people are different, which means that your customers are different – although they tend to fall into useful groups. He talked about the perfect pepsis (plural) rather than the perfect pepsi (singular). He told a story about his discovery that people like different kinds of spaghetti sauce (plain, spicy, extra chunky) and that no one was making extra-chunky at the time.
Nobody ever saw this latent market before because up until this time, everyone was asking people what they wanted. People don’t always know they want, or how to put it into words. Malcom’s strategy is to make up a bunch of varieties, test them out, and then look for the clusters.
The old wisdom was platonic foods – one ideal that is perfect for everyone. If there was any variation, it was a premium product designed to give people something to aspire to. However, this leaves a lot of underserved markets – a prime opportunity.