The success of a business that sells a product or service depends on the choices of consumers. The ability to anticipate the trends in consumer consumption patterns is imperative to any business's success. One industry that has had varying degrees of success is the meat industry. According to Lawrence (2006) "Per capita red meat and poultry consumption has increased 8% between 1980 and 2005 and now stands at 187.5 pounds per person on a boneless equivalent basis" (para. 2). This paper will investigate the basis for these trends in consumption patterns, to include the utility derived from meat, changes in demand, market prices and the elasticity of demand for meat. The paper will also define economics, the law of supply and demand, and discuss factors that lead to a change in supply and demand.
Economics is defined by Merriam-Webster Online as "a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services" (2008).
Economics can be seen as a study of how people choose what to buy, with the resources available, and the motivations behind those decisions.
The law of supply is the relation between the price of a good and the quantity available for sale at that price. The law of supply states: "quantity supplied rises as price rises, other things constant, and quantity supplied falls as price falls, other things constant" (Colander, 2008, p. 88). The law of demand states: "quantity demanded rises as price falls, other things constant, and quantity demanded falls as price rises, other things constant" (Colander, 2008, p. 88). In general, price and quantity demanded in a market are inversely related. The higher the price of a product, the less of the product people would be willing and able to buy of it.
What this means...