Consumer Confidential: A brewski for Burger King; economic gloom is growing

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Here's your frankly-my-dear Friday roundup of consumer news from
around the Web:
 
--How about a beer with your burger? Some fast-food chains are
experimenting with alcohol sales as a way to boost business. Two Sonic
restaurants in South Florida soon will sell beer and wine. The move
follows Burger King "Whopper Bars" -- recently opened in Miami, Las
Vegas and Kansas City -- that sell beer. Starbucks recently began
serving beer and wine in a handful of Seattle stores. This may get the
cash flowing in, but critics say the message to younger consumers is
that it's OK to drink. I'll know that we've gone too far when Mickey
D's starts selling McBrewskis alongside its Happy Meals.
 
--On the other hand, maybe we'll all need a drink if the economy
doesn't get any better. Consumer sentiment worsened in June amid
continuing anxiety over high unemployment and high prices for everyday
goods. Falling gasoline prices stabilized consumers' view of their
current economic conditions, but expectations remained gloomy, the
Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey shows. Although small
spending gains can be expected in the second half of the year, the
trend is more likely to vary between lackluster and zero than
lackluster and robust over the next several years, the survey says. To
which I say, "Supersize me."
 
-- David Lazarus

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/07/consumer-confidential-fast-food-alcohol-beer-wine-sonic-burger-king-starbucks-economy-sentiment-prices.html

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