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Supply & Demand - Article Example

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Supply and Demand: An Analysis Although one might be quick to assume that the food and beverage industry, specifically the fast food industry, is one that has a relatively inelastic level of supply and demand, this is only partially true. As will be detailed within this short analysis, there are a number of factors that work on a systemic and local level to differentiate the levels of supply and demand so that even though they may not make wild swings in movement, they are nonetheless nearly continuously in flux…
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Supply & Demand
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Supply and Demand: An Analysis Although one might be quick to assume that the food and beverage industry, specifically the fast food industry, is one that has a relatively inelastic level of supply and demand, this is only partially true. As will be detailed within this short analysis, there are a number of factors that work on a systemic and local level to differentiate the levels of supply and demand so that even though they may not make wild swings in movement, they are nonetheless nearly continuously in flux. Accordingly, the following analysis will present an argument for the way in which supply and demand is fundamentally shifted within the student beverage industry at the moment in time in which the risk of salmonella outbreak is noted. Whereas it may seem as counterintuitive that the risk of changes to supply and demand within something on the inelastic market may take place, it should not be understood that the food and beverage industry is inelastic. Although it is true that individuals must eat, the choice of where, what type of food, and how they consume these products ultimately has a massive impact with regards the way in which supply and demand is delineated. A recent example of the salmonella and e coli outbreaks that have seemingly riddled the food industry within the past several years is but two examples of the ways in which the supply of goods that the restaurant relies on are far from static. Moreover, only 1 ? years ago, a nationwide scare concerning tomatoes caused nearly all tomatoes to be recalled from stores and restaurants as the nature, level, and extent to which e coli was present in these vegetables was determined. Such unforeseeable and unavoidable changes to the supply chain is but one way in which the supply side of the restaurant is in flux (Weisbecker 1). During any other time, the supply and demand that might exist within the industry would be relatively static; however, even a brief level of economic analysis reveals the fact that supply and demand are drastically shifted at the moment in time in which a broad level of societal consciousness is directed at the overall safety and biological content of the food in which they are consuming. Once again, it must be understood in supply and demand is a universal term that impacts a great level of industries and firms throughout the system; however, even with that being said, it must also be understood that the supply and demand shift that are effected with regards to any salmonella and/or E. coli outbreak are usually regional in scope. Similarly, but somewhat more complex, is an understanding of the shifting nature of demand. With respect to demand there are two key factors, consumer tastes, and the price changes that effect quantity demanded. With regards to consumer tastes, the availability of comparable goods, time of year, performance of the economy etc, these are all factors that typically help to constrain or expand the level to which consumers are willing and able to spend on the goods that the firm offers. However, another aspect of demand is the quantity demanded. This is a situation whereby the other determinants of demand that have been mentioned may themselves remain static; however, due to the price fluctuations that may exist in the product, the actual quantity demanded is inherently reduced or increased accordingly. It should be noted however that the first determinant of demand (traditional demand) is the one factor that most directly affects demand at the firm. Although price fluctuations for food doubtless exist and are usually bound to factors that are outside of the control of the final seller (more likely determined by the availability and cost of food items/transportation costs etc), the main determinant for how greatly the consumer will demand the product has to with traditional demand based on the aforementioned forces as well as a litany of others. Understanding what drives supply and demand as well as what key factors can act to differentiate it within the industry is one of the most important factors to seeking to engineer a level of business acumen and proficiency. Moreover, without understanding the key market forces, consumer tastes etc that give way to the business cycle it would be necessarily impossible for a firm or a business to seek to gain any type of an advantage. Work CIted Weisbecker, Andy. "Michigan Salmonella Outbreak Announced | Food Poison Journal." Food Poison Journal | Food Policy & Safety | Marler Clark Law Firm. N.p., 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2013. . Read More
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