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• The Lakeland Ledger reports that a documentary film about the life and career of Publix founder George W. Jenkins has gone into production. The movie, tentatively titled “Mr. George,” is being funded by the Jenkins family, has the cooperation of Publix executives, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

• The Chicago Tribune reports that beer manufacturers are fighting back from declining sales, “introducing craft beers and other spins on the classic beverage in a bid to recapture straying customers ... That brew's 6% alcohol content reflects Americans' growing thirst for drinks with more kick and perceived sophistication. Sales of both wine and hard liquor such as vodka, bourbon and whiskey are up 4% or more over the last year, helped in part by images in popular media.”

Other than enthusiasm for mixed drinks, the story says, “perhaps the biggest threat to mainstream brands is from craft or "micro" breweries that turn out beer honed by individual or a small group of brew masters in relatively small batches. It's beer's tie to the artisanal and slow-food movements, and it's increasingly popular.

“Of the 25 craft brewers that sell more than 100,000 barrels a year, each saw sales increase last year. Brewer D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. of Pottsville, Pa., was up 16.9%, and Samuel Adams owner Boston Beer Co. scored an estimated 8% increase in shipments.

“Even the major companies are starting to turn out craft brews. Popular brand Blue Moon is made by MillerCoors, and at several Barney's Beanery locations it now outsells two of the company's mainstream labels, Miller Lite and Coors Light.”

• The Los Angeles Times reports that McDonald’s “is reaching critical mass on a nearly decade-long, multibillion-dollar global renovation and rebuilding project it's betting will boost sales, traffic and brand perception. Restaurants undergoing simultaneous interior and exterior remodels are expected to see a 6% to 7% increase in same-store sales upon reopening, no matter where they are located.”

According to the story, “In the U.S., bright red, double mansard roofs are being swapped for a single yellow arch outside; inside, two- and four-top tables are being swapped for long, wide community tables, tall bar tables and more modern booths.”
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