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A Great Slurping Sound

April 14, 1999|CHARLES PERYRY

Last year, for the first time, America lost the Coca-Cola crown. The average Mexican drank 412 eight-ounce Coca-Colas in 1998, as against 395 per American. Third place was held by Chile with 338 Cokes.

Susana Moline, an analyst with Mexico's BBV-Probursa brokerage, said the warm Pacific Ocean current known as El Nino helped boost soft drink sales in general in Mexico. On top of that, in her analysis, a lot of thirsty soccer fans were watching the televised World Cup.

"We are expecting a slowdown this year, because we won't have those two effects, so we doubt the pace can be maintained," Moline said.

The Godfather of Sauce

Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola has gone beyond making wine. He now has his own brand (Mammarella, or "Mommy") of pastas and pasta sauces--to go, presumably, with a Coppola-Niebaum Cabernet. The sauces include tomato sauce, arrabbiata and puttanesca. On the puttanesca sauce jar, he does apologize for having put a photo of his mother at age 17 on the label of a sauce named for the ladies of the night.

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