Ray Latif

Ray Latif

Managing Editor

Ray has been with BevNET since March, 2011. As managing editor, Ray oversees content production on BevNET.com and in BevNET Magazine.

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Posts by Ray Latif

People Moves: Martines Moves On From Kroger; Runa, Nutpods Add Sales Leaders

In this edition of People Moves: Mathis Martines joins branding firm Concentric; Runa hires former Whole Foods executive to top sales post; Nutpods taps Mark Nunn as VP of sales; Maker of Wild Tonic Kombucha names Steven Siegel as CEO; Ryan Lake joins OMAC Beverage Advisors as managing director.

Ben Weiss Departs as Bai CEO

BevNET has learned that Bai Brands founder and CEO Ben Weiss has left the company. Although sources close to the company confirmed to BevNET that Weiss has departed, it’s unclear at this time whether he was dismissed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG), which acquired Bai in February, or if he resigned.

Video: Why Whole Foods Centralized Purchasing Decisions

Three days prior to the blockbuster announcement that Amazon would acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Matt Jimenez, the senior category leader for Whole Foods’ global grocery team took the stage at BevNET Live Summer 2017 and discussed recent changes to the company’s grocery management structure and buying processes.

In-Depth: Why Amazon Scooped Up Whole Foods

In a deal that’s shaking the shopping experience for consumers, retailers, and food and beverage companies, Amazon’s scooping up of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion on Friday has hardened talk of large-scale disruption in the way consumers buy their groceries.

BevNET Podcast is Now Taste Radio

Included in our first episode as Taste Radio is a conversation with Jordan Gaspar and Lauren Jupiter, the founders of venture capital fund AccelFoods, which invests in early-stage and innovative food and beverage companies. Gaspar and Jupiter discussed the evolution of AccelFoods’ investment and business strategy and shared their take on nascent trends in food and beverage.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 60: Bob Burke on Keys to The (Natural) Kingdom; Recapping The Sweets and Snacks Expo

Over his three decades as an executive and consultant in the natural products industry, Bob Burke has been recognized as one of the foremost experts in the space. He recently joined us for a wide-ranging conversation about the evolution of the industry and its transformative impact on the grocery business, his thoughts on the keys to success for startups and how he defines truly innovative ideas.

Reuters: PepsiCo in Talks to Acquire Vita Coco

Reuters has reported that PepsiCo is in talks to acquire All Market Inc, the maker of leading coconut water brand Vita Coco. PepsiCo is offering less than the $1 billion that All Market has sought for the acquisition, according to Reuters, which cited sources familiar with the potential deal.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 59: Margaritas, Mezcal and Money

In this episode, we sat down with Mark Mahoney, the co-founder of premium cocktail mixer brand Powell & Mahoney, who discussed his background as a beverage entrepreneur and the rapid development of the mixer space. We also examined recent investment deals in food and beverage, including a funding round for snack brand Hippeas, one that included Leonardo DiCaprio.

First Beverage Invests in Mezcal Brand, Gem&Bolt

First Beverage Ventures, the private equity arm of First Beverage Group, today announced an investment in mezcal brand Gem&Bolt, marking the first time that the firm has invested in a distilled spirits company.

Draft Latte Powers La Colombe to Big Start in 2017

La Colombe’s canned Draft Latte has been on the market for just over a year, but the innovative beverage is now the fastest growing RTD coffee in the U.S., according to the premium coffee manufacturer and retailer, which cited recent sales data from market research firm IRI.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 58: Why Juice Press is “Constantly Reinventing the Wheel”; The Soylent Phenomenon

In this episode of the BevNET Podcast, Marcus Antebi, who launched cold-pressed juice chain Juice Press in 2010 and now presides over a chain of 62 stores across the Northeast, explained his belief that “common innovation is complete” and that it’s incumbent upon food and beverage manufacturers to up the ante with nutrient-dense ingredients and formulations.

Lumi Juice to Move Headquarters to Pennsylvania, Puts HPP Machine On the Market

Cold-pressed juice brand Lumi Juice is moving its headquarters to the Philadelphia area as it seeks to reduce overhead costs and expand its distribution footprint. The company, recently signed a deal with Universal Pasteurization, a provider of cold storage and HPP services to food and beverage manufacturers, to lease a 6,000 sq. ft space within its Malvern, Penn. facility.