Ray Latif

Ray Latif

Managing Editor/Producer

Ray has been with BevNET since March, 2011. As managing editor/producer, Ray oversees strategic planning and content management for BevNET's Taste Radio podcast, BevNET Magazine, and video on BevNET.com.

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Posts by Ray Latif

Expo East 2017 Video: Trends and Insights

As expected, Expo East 2017 was a key showcase for innovative and on-trend product launches in both nascent and established beverage categories. Sorting through the nearly 200 drink exhibitors at the event, BevNET's John Craven and Ray Latif offer their take on the most notable and impactful new products for the industry in the above video.

Taste Radio Ep. 75: Grandy Oats’ Founders on Why Authenticity Matters; The Evolution of Plant-Based “Meat”

Taste Radio Ep. 75 features an interview with Aaron Anker and Nat Peirce, who are the co-founders of organic granola maker Grandy Oats. We also explore the growing market for plant-based meat in the latest edition of Why is This a Thing? And we chat with Cindy Kasindorf, the co-Founder of Remedy Organics in this week’s Elevator Talk. This episode is presented by Virun.

Taste Radio Ep. 73: How Can Premiumization and Portland Define a Rich Career? Ask Joth Ricci.

This week’s episode of Taste Radio features a captivating interview with Joth Ricci, a veteran beverage executive with one of the most diverse, interesting and impactful track records of anyone in the industry. Over a 17-year career, Ricci has held roles as president of Stumptown Coffee, president and CEO of Jones Soda and managing director with beverage investment and advisory firm First Beverage Group. We recently traveled to Portland, Ore. to meet with Ricci, who is currently the president/CEO of Adelsheim Vineyard.

Taste Radio Ep. 70: Suja CEO: Here’s How To Make Your Own Luck; Kefir’s Moment

This week's episode spotlights a recent conversation with Jeff Church, the co-founder and CEO of Suja, who opined on the role of luck in business, why a thorough understanding of consumer demand is critical to success, and explained how “the rule of twos” helped steer the company through its growth and development.

Koa Ceases Operations, Founder Joins Dirty Lemon as COO

Unable to secure the necessary funding to continue production of its uniquely formulated beverages, Koa has shut down. Launched in 2009, the company developed a proprietary process to extract sugar and calories from a blend of fruit and vegetable juices, resulting in a clear, nutrient-rich drink that Koa marketed as “olakino.”

Taste Radio Ep. 69: Jon Sebastiani Is Kraving The Next Big Thing

This week’s episode of Taste Radio features a wide-ranging conversation with Krave Jerky and Sonoma Brands founder Jon Sebastiani. Recorded at the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show, Sebastiani delved into his background in the food and beverage industry as an heir to a legacy wine family and talked about what spurred him to strike out on his own with Krave.

Drake Invests in MatchaBar, Whole Foods Picks Up RTD Line Nationwide

Matcha beverage maker and retailer MatchaBar is nearing completion of a new Series A funding round that includes rap icon Drake as an investor. The $2.5 million round is expected to close within the next few weeks and comes on the heels of a new national distribution deal with Whole Foods.

Taste Radio Ep. 68: Talking Innovative Ventures and Investments with Owl’s Brew and 301INC

Episode 68 of the Taste Radio podcast features interviews with Jennie Ripps, the CEO and co-founder of tea-based cocktail mixer and beer brand Owl’s Brew, Pete Speranza, who is a New Business Development Principal with General Mills’ business development and venture capital arm 301INC, and the latest edition of Elevator Talk with Jason Petrou, the founder of Clean Energy Organics.