Ray Latif

Ray Latif

Associated Site



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

Video: A Recap of Expo West 2014 — Examining Whole Foods’ Dynamic Impact on Non-GMO Certification; Emerging Trends, Innovation and Categories

Here’s a math problem for you: if the show floor at Natural Products Expo West 2014 encompassed over 1 million square feet, how big do you think the proverbial elephant in the room (in this case, the Anaheim Convention Center) would have to be? Gargantuan, for sure, and for beverage exhibitors at the event, it was clear that the mammoth in the room is known as Whole Foods. The clout and sway of the natural grocer was in full display at Expo West.

You Ask, We Answer: A Q & A With BevNET FBU Subscribers

In a new monthly video series, members of BevNET’s staff will answer specific questions about the beverage industry as asked by subscirbers of our FBU platform. In this first installment, we address seven queries, including finding the right suppliers for your company, the variety of ways to get market information and sales data for individual beverage categories and the key elements of a five-star reviewed product.

Expo West Preview: Coco Cafe Gets a New Name, Packaging

Vita Coco Café will debut at the upcoming Natural Products Expo West show, and while the formulation of espresso, coconut water and milk remains the same, the three-SKU line features new graphics, the familiar Vita Coco logo, and a more prominent call-out of “Café Latte” on the front of the package.

Evolution Fresh Cracks Chicago Market, Preps for Label Update

Making a major push into the Midwest, Starbucks today announced that its Evolution Fresh cold-pressed juices are now available in the company’s Chicago area cafes. Until now, the brand’s presence in Chicago was limited to Whole Foods stores and other natural grocers in the region. Now with placement in more than 360 Starbucks stores in and around the Windy City, the company is aiming for greater awareness and trial of Evolution Fresh juices.

L.A. Libations Set to Launch New Horchata Energy Drink Nationally in 7-Eleven; Partners with Relativity Media in Joint Venture

Set for a national launch in 8,300 7-Eleven stores, Arriba is a new horchata energy drink that is targeted to reach a specific demographic in Latino consumers. L.A. Libations entered into a joint venture with film studio and entertainment powerhouse Relativity Media, which is investor in Arriba and will play a major role in the marketing of the brand with product placement in Relativity-produced TV shows and movies.

Natural Products Expo West Draws a Record 67,000 Attendees

In short, we’re exhausted. Natural Products Expo West 2014 was an incredible show in every aspect, and the BevNET team had a lot to cover. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be releasing a wide range of multimedia content from Expo West, including stories on emerging trends in beverage innovation and retail distribution, video profiles on several new brands and a photo gallery on new products launches featured at the show.

Expo West Update: Label Evolution, New CFO for Mamma Chia

Along with a recent label refresh for its beverages, Mamma Chia is planning to debut a new line of whole chia seeds, as well as new varieties for snack and beverage lines at this week’s Natural Products Expo West show. And in the midst of a recently launched round of funding, the company hired a new Chief Financial Officer with deep roots in consumer goods.

Activate Dramatically Reduces East Coast Head Count, Focuses Efforts on SoCal Market

With the company now firmly in control of co-founder Anders Eisner, Activate is in the midst of a refocused sales and marketing strategy that will place greater attention and emphasis on the Southern California market. As a result, Activate recently reduced its East Coast staff to a single employee, but stressed that it will continue to support distribution and retail commitments in region.

Expo West Preview: Revamped Mix1 Ready for its Close-Up

Under new management and featuring a reformulated line-up and updated packaging, mix1 is set to make its return to the market. The company today announced that it will debut its new look at the upcoming Natural Products Expo West show, which will take place next month in Anaheim, Calif.