Ray Latif

Posts by Ray Latif

Beyoncé Invests in WTRMLN WTR

Beyoncé’s investment was part of a capital raise that closed in February, according to WTRMLN WTR co-founder Jody Levy. That raise included funding from CAVU Venture Partners and other undisclosed investors, however, Levy declined to offer details on the total amount of the raise and Beyoncé’s contribution, citing investor confidentiality.

BevNET Podcast Episode 1: Waste Not, Juice More

BevNET is pleased to announced the launch of a new podcast, in which we’ll be exploring current trends and timely news stories in the food and beverage business. In this first episode, BevNET’s John Craven, Ray Latif and Jon Landis discuss a growing trend in repurposing food waste, the pitfalls of cause-based marketing, a surging nut milk category and why sugar has emerged as "public enemy number one."

Distribution Roundup: Premium Water Brands Pick Up the Pace

April was packed with distribution news from entrepreneurial beverage companies spanning a range of categories. Premium water brands made significant traction this month, adding new placement at natural, conventional grocery and convenience store retailers.

Chameleon Cold-Brew Launches Cold-Brew.Org

Chameleon Cold-Brew co-founder and CEO Chris Campbell told BevNET that the new website is intended to “elevate the conversation and take a leadership position in educating the consumer for ourselves and other brands that we believe are doing it right.”

Following Civil Complaint, Neuro to Change Marketing Practices

Although Neurobrands did not admit liability, it agreed to a permanent court injunction that requires it to change its marketing practices and update wording on its labels. The company will also pay $500,000 in penalties and restitution as part of the settlement.

Sweet & Healthy: Sugar Alternatives Grow

Natural alternatives account for just 1 percent of the global market for sweeteners. However, natural beverage companies are increasingly turning to alternative sweeteners for blending with innovative and healthy formulations.

Messina Departs VEB to Become CMO at Beam

As part of VEB’s senior leadership team, Messina played a critical role identifying emerging trends and investment opportunities for VEB, whose primary objective is to find and nurture the next generation of billion-dollar brands. for Coke.

Hiperbaric to Introduce New HPP Verification Program

The “Cold Pressure Verified” program establishes a set of criteria for implementation of HPP, a non-thermal safety method that uses high pressure to preserve packaged foods and beverages. Participating companies will be able to use a Cold Pressure Verified seal on labels and other marketing material.

Expo West 2016 Video: Koa Starts to Sparkle

A first time exhibitor at Natural Products Expo West, Koa markets a uniquely formulated zero-calorie, juice-based beverage that it calls “olakino.” In the above video, Koa CEO Adam Louras speaks with BevNET about the company's approach to innovation and new product development. He also discusses Koa’s distribution goals for 2016, and the addition of beverage industry veteran Ken Sadowsky as an advisor.

Dr Pepper Snapple Acquires Additional Stake in BodyArmor

Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) has increased its ownership position in BodyArmor, having invested an additional $6 million in the premium sports drink brand. The deal, finalized in March, comes approximately seven months after DPSG acquired an 11.7 percent stake in BodyArmor for $20 million. DPSG now owns 15.5 percent of the brand.

Juicero Founder Talks Launch of Countertop Cold-Pressing System

In a wide-ranging interview with BevNET, Evans discussed the development of Juicero, a new countertop cold-pressing juicing system. Evans shares details about the company's $120 million capital raise, its diverse investment group, the target demographic and sales projections for Juicero, and how it fits into the competitive landscape of cold-pressed juice.

MGP Introduces Till American Wheat Vodka

“Till Vodka is a brand that represents timeless and aspirational values, which are tied to the region that embodies them,” said MGP President and CEO Gus Griffin. “Till captures the hard work and passion of the people involved in making it, and reflects the pride they take in doing their best.”