It's summer on the coast of Maine, and people are eating lobster - lots of it.
Lobster prices have hit record lows, due to a glut in the supply. But if you go into a restaurant, don't expect to pay any less than you normally would - it appears that restaurants are still charging top dollar for the highly-craved crustacean. Should their customers be upset? Should they feel cheated? Is the restaurant risking its customer-friendly reputation, by not sharing?
When there's a glut of oil in the market, gasoline prices drop at the pump, and the consumer benefits. But when there's a glut of lobster in the market, the prices are no lower at the plate than they are when the supply is "normal."
Should a restaurant lower their prices on lobster dishes, when the restaurant pays less - a lot less - for the lobster? Should customers expect to share in the savings? Does a business risk its trustworthy reputation by not sharing the savings with its customers?
When a company reduces its costs through its own innovative efforts, it's "earned" the savings, and can more easily justify keeping those savings as profits. But when the savings were not "earned" by the company, is there any "marketing obligation" to pass those savings on to the customer?