Gas choices…too many or too few?

On a recent trip to Wisconsin I stopped at a gas-station for a routine fill-up only to be surprised at the extraordinary number of options I had for fuel.

Gasoline Options

In the USA most gas pumps I’ve seen just have 87, 89, and 91 Octane fuel options.

I wonder what drove the owners of this station to add more options.  And why no 91 octane fuel available?  Do a serious number of car fanatics live nearby who just wouldn’t stand for anything less than five options?  I wonder if most drivers know what the octane number represents or why it matters? If you want to read more about gasoline octane numbers, you can find a brief explanation here.

The diversity of the options and well-labeled nature of the products are a far cry from the casual “whiskey-bottle” filling stations I discovered in South East Asia, but I wonder if they’ve come too far and surpassed the average motorist’s knowledge, providing no additional value for each option added.