Ray Latif

Ray Latif

Associated Site

www.bevnet.com

Bio

Ray is the founder, executive producer and head writer of French Oak, an online television show that gives viewers comprehensive insight into the beer, wine and spirits scene in the Boston area. A graduate of Boston University’s School of Management, Ray has also run a consulting practice on behalf of private scholarship foundations in Greater Boston for nearly a decade.

Posts by Ray Latif

PepsiCo Eyes Summer Launch for New “Real Sugar” Colas

Marketed and packaged as being “made with real sugar,” the beverages, to be released this summer, will come in regular, vanilla and wild cherry flavors. Labeled with the nostalgic PepsiCo logo, the products appear to be taking the place of the PepsiCo’s popular “Throwback” sodas, which included limited-edition, sugar-sweetened versions of its flagship cola and Mountain Dew

Can’t We All Just… Chill?

Because formulations are not easily understood, the term “relaxation” is one that consumers define for themselves, independent of ingredients — creating meanings that are often at odds with how brands position and market their products. .

Expo West 2014 Photo Gallery: New Brands, Products & Packaging

While established beverage brands took advantage of the high-profile event to announce line extensions, updated formulations and packaging revamps, a significant number of early-stage companies utilized Expo West to introduce their products to swarms of distributors, retailers and media personnel walking the show floor. Covering every new product introduction or revamp at Expo West was no easy task, but our team was up for the challenge.

Honest Tea Reaches $112m in 2013 Sales; Logo Gets Refresh(er)

Everyone knows that a rolling stone gathers no moss. Yet for Honest Tea, which has been rolling in its own right, the company has had no trouble picking up a different kind of green: cold hard cash. The Coca-Cola Co.-owned tea and juice outfit racked up $112 million in sales last year and is positioning itself for similar growth in 2014 amid the launch of a new multi-serve “Refresher” line and a logo evolution that will gradually roll out across all Honest product lines.

Everyone’s Looking for the Big Squeeze

Prior to the launch of MiO, the term “liquid water enhancer” didn’t exist in the consumer parlance, and Kraft executives knew that it would take an exceptional marketing strategy — and a bundle of cash — to adequately support the rollout. So how did the company take MiO, a first-of-its-kind product with zero awareness, to a brand that, three years later, is leading a category worth over $400 million?

Kobe Bryant Invests in BodyArmor

The NBA’s Black Mamba may be winding down his basketball career, but when it comes to the beverage business, Kobe Bryant is just getting started. In an interview with ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Bryant revealed that he has made a multi-million dollar investment in BodyArmor, the functional sports drink brand launched by FUZE founder Lance Collins and helmed by Mike Repole, the co-founder of Vitaminwater.

Video: Expo West 2014 – Health-Ade Adds Kombucha Vet as Operations Chief, Ramps Up Production

In this video, filmed at Heath-Ade’s booth at Natural Products Expo West 2014, BevNET CEO John Craven speaks with co-founder Daina Trout about the company’s frugal deployment of capital, its production strategy and why an increase in manufacturing requires a slow and steady approach. Trout also discusses the target market for Health-Ade, why the kombucha category can pull from other beverage segments and new distribution of its beverages.

Peltz Slams PepsiCo Management, “Power of One” Strategy in New Letter

Two weeks after PepsiCo’s board of directors roundly rejected a proposal from Peltz’s Trian Fund Management, in which the investment firm repeated its call for the cola giant to split its snack and beverage divisions into two separate companies, Trian yesterday sent a letter to PepsiCo’s board calling into question the credibility of company management and asking it to provide shareholders with analytical support for its continued reliance on the “Power of One” strategy.

Senomyx Achieves GRAS Status for New Flavor Enhancer; PepsiCo Has Exclusive Rights for N/A Bevs

With news that flavor supplier Senomyx has received regulatory approval for its Sweetmyx product, is PepsiCo closer to a “holy grail” ingredient that CSD companies have long coveted? Yesterday, Senomyx announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been awarded Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status to Sweetmyx, an ingredient said to enhance the flavor profile of reduced-calorie foods and beverages.