Any product that is not a consumer durable , i.e. can only be used or consumed once. Typical examples include food, detergent and petrol. In addition, all services would be classified as consumables.
From the business point of view, their significance is that:
• consumables do not share the market saturation problems of durables, therefore demand is more constant
• due to the possibility of regular purchasing it is easier to build strong brand loyalty towards consumables
• consumables are less subject to falling demand during a recession (whereas durables suffer as customers postpone replacement purchases).