Consumers are, in an economic sense, those who consume goods and services produced by producers. In business, consumers may be differentiated from customers as using, but not necessarily buying, goods and services.
Individuals buy products from businesses to satisfy various needs and wants: through consumer decisions they choose to use their money to purchase these products. The buying of such products is generally referred to as shopping, be it for need or for personal enjoyment.
One who, or that which, consumes; as, the consumer of food.
It is generally considered that consumers are entitled to several rights. In many countries consumers are legally protected and businesses must provide customers with goods and services of a certain quality level. Consumer rights have often been the subject of activism and consumers are increasingly being educated about their rights and responsibilities.