Consumers rate McDonald's

Consuming burgers and cold beer is about as American as eating a slice of apple pie at a baseball game, while whistling Yankee Doodle Dandy. However, recent sales reports by McDonald's Corp., Wendy's Co., and Molson Coors Brewing Co. showed extremely low earnings across the board.

According to Mcdonald's, its sales at global stores open for over a year, were at 3.3 percent in April of 2012, which has shrunken from sales in April 2011. The fast-food giants have seen nearly a 3 percent increase in the United States and Europe, but saw only a 1.1 percent lift in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia pacific regions, and things weren't any better for the square burger makers at Wendy's.

Although Wendy's has introduced new some menu items, and started aggressive advertising to showcase several new side dishes, like macaroni and cheese and sweet baked potato, first-quarter profit numbers were much lower than expected. Wendy's new chief executive Emil Brolick said that the burger company is in the middle of "a transition year," which gives some insight as to why sales figures were so low.

Numbers were $12.4 million (3 cents a share) from a total loss of $1.4 million just one year prior. But, things picked up again for Wendy's as earnings rose  from $582.5 million to $593.2 million.

"it was not enough to offset restaurant-level margin pressure," Brolick said in a press statement. "We are allocating substantial resources toward restaurant development, marketing, product innovation and customer service initiatives."

Drying out

Consumers also chose to wash their meals down with something other than beer, as the Molson Coors Brewing Co., the makers of Coors Light and Blue Moon beers, only saw a 0.1 percent increase to $691.4 million. Luckily for the brew makers, its other beers like Creemore, and Leinenkugel, which contain a higher-end brand persona, sold more this quarter than this time last year.

There's definitely someting afoot, as a ConsumerAffairs sentiment analysis of 300,000 postings to Facebook, Twitter and other social media finds a definite fall-off in consumer sentiment over the past year. The Coors brand has slumped from a 73% positive rating last November down to a rather flat 47% this month. 


There's an interesting paradox in the liquor business at the moment: consumer tastes are moving towards lighter hard liquor, like vodka, and away from bourbon, Scotch and rum. But over on the beer side, drinkers are increasingly turning away from Bud Light, Coors and other lighter blends to bigger, more robust beers. 

Some of that sentiment can perhaps be read into the most frequent comments unearthed in our sentiment analysis:


However, it certainly doesn't appear that Molson is strapped for cash after it purchased European beer company StarBev for $3.5 billion.

With overall consumer spending way down in the U.S., one would think areas of cheaper foods and beverages like burgers and beer wouldn't suffer, but this continued trend of low sales proves that no area of life or entertainment is safe from conservative consumer spending.



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