Mass Customization In Different Countries

Author: Carmen | January 20, 2010 | Customization

Today I googled mass customization (well, mass customisation) in the UK - and found nothing. Now, I might not be the most versed googler and also didn't spend too much time on it, but how can there be no examples of mass customization in the UK? I even shouted it out on twitter (I tweet about mass customization with my @papillonc account), - no examples! I could not find one mass customization company from the UK. We know that has a UK website, but that's it. Please let me know if you know of any!

Funny enough, I found the abstract to a research paper, comparing mass customization (-customisation) in the UK vs. Turkey (why Turkey?), and the finding was this: "A large proportion of customers from both countries would be willing to pay extra to own a product which exactly meets their needs and preferences. However, more respondents in the Turkish sample were willing to do so than in the UK sample." So it's not that the UK consumers abhor mass customization (although the Turkish clearly are more trendy in this regard), but why do entrepreneurs ignore it?

Mass Customization by chocri

Which of course makes me think of US vs. Germany. I see a lot of mass customization in the US in the fields of fashion and food, and while fashion seems to be more of an American stronghold, a lot of the food mass customization startups have someone German, or at least German-speaking, on their founding team. Checking mass customization directories like or milkorsugar further confirms that there are more food mass customization startups in Germany than in the US, including notable US companies like elementbars, [me] & goji or who I was fortunate to meet last week.

Mass Customization A few days ago, an Austrian business student interviewed me on the topic of mass customization for her bachelor thesis, and one question she asked was how I expect mass customization to evolve in the future. Now, I'm no Professor Pine or Professor Piller, but I'm obviously betting my personal future on it. I think that we will see lots of growth in mass customization - many products are not available yet in a customized format. Many existing examples of mass customization are not sold in every country yet. And sooner or later, there will be competition in each niche - see the two cereal companies mentioned above in the US market. Then, I expect larger companies to jump on the train - maybe not as efficiently as the startups in the beginning, but soon on a much bigger scale. Which reminds me - have I told you yet about Hershey's opening a "create-your-own" attraction in their amusement park "Chocolate World" in Hershey, PA? They've been on our site a lot (Google Analytics knows everything), so we're flattered! I can't wait to go when it opens in the summer.

We, chocri, have been received in the US with open arms, and are as thrilled as you about our expansion. That for us is a sign that mass customization is ready to spread to more countries. What do you think?


  1. January 20, 2010 | Marius said:
    There are some MC-Companies even in the UK. Here are some for example:


    Labels for bottles of wine and champagne:

    Party supplies (Banners, Stickers, Cutouts):


    Polo- and Rugby-Shirts:


    Greetings from Germany!


  2. January 20, 2010 | Heiko [] said:
    Remember also that Hasbro is producing individual Monopoly-Games for UK Customers. (unfortunately only uk)

    i wrote a article about that some months ago: (german)

  3. January 21, 2010 | Joris said:
    Isn't the spread of mass customization inevitable, at least in some verticals? Every consumer oriented company will always be searching for higher margins and this would be an obvious tactic for them to deploy. I'd be more worried about them hollowing out the term than I would be thinking that it would not happen.

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