Read the full story at Quartz.
Shoes and hamburgers have sort of a symbiotic relationship.
The leather industry buys up many of the hides left over as a byproduct from the process that turns cattle into the various cuts of beef that wind up in restaurants and grocery stores. That leather is used for all sorts of items, but the footwear industry is its biggest buyer, according to Bloomberg, accounting for 55% of demand. It’s a good relationship, ensuring that little goes to waste.
It’s getting thrown out of balance, though, as the world’s people—and Americans in particular—eat more US beef but are losing their desire for leather shoes. The consequence, Bloomberg reports, is a surplus of steer hides and falling prices as supply grows out of scale with demand.