Ray Latif

Posts by Ray Latif

Spindrift Eliminates Natural Flavors, Plans to Discontinue Soda Line

In a major step intended to further its commitment toward simple ingredients and transparency, Spindrift has removed all natural flavors and essences from its sparkling waters and will discontinue its soda line. Spindrift founder and CEO Bill Creelman called the moves “belief decisions” that address growing consumer concerns about added flavors and sugar.

Clearly Kombucha Launches Co-Packing Operations

The strategic initiative is intended to support a planned expansion of its production plant. The San Francisco-based company is currently working with two early-stage, non-competing brands and is looking for more, said CEO and co-founder Alison Zarrow.

Powell & Mahoney Launches Canned Sparkling Mixers

Powell & Mahoney is thinking small. The premium cocktail mixer brand will roll out a new line of 12 oz. canned sparkling mixers drinks at next week’s Natural Products Expo West 2017.

High Brew Drops Stevia

Based on internal research that found approximately one-third of coffee consumers have an aversion to stevia, High Brew has removed the zero-calorie sweetener from three of its products.

Starbucks to Shutter Remaining Evolution Fresh Retail Stores

The decision to shutter the stores, which sold freshly prepared juices, snacks and sandwiches on-premise, will allow Starbucks “to sharpen its strategic focus” on Evolution Fresh’s RTD line of cold-pressed, high pressure processed juices, according to a company spokesperson.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 46: Why “You’re Your Own Best Salesman”

In this podcast, Michael Schwartz, the co-founder and managing partner of Organic Food Incubator, a shared production facility and resource center for early-stage food and beverage companies, delved into the current landscape for start-up brands in metro New York, discussed top-of-mind ingredient and formulations embraced by entrepreneurs in the region and shared his take on effective sales, retail and distribution strategies for new brand owners.

Expo West 2017 Preview: Vita Coco To Debut “Coconutmilk”

Coconut water leader Vita Coco is getting into the growing pool of dairy-alternative drinks with the launch of “Coconutmilk,” a new plant-based beverage made with coconut water, coconut cream and filtered water and contains no added sugar or carrageenan.

Sparkling Ice Launches $37M Integrated Marketing Campaign

The “Be Not Bland” campaign features a series of television advertisements designed to embrace “authenticity and individuality, celebrating the people, places and personalities that fill life with flavor and ‘not bland’ moments." In a call with BevNET, Talking Rain CEO Kevin Klock described the campaign as “a long-term platform that we can build on.”

Expo West Preview: Ito En to Launch “Ice-Steeped” Cold Brew Tea

Betting that consumer demand for cold brew will percolate beyond coffee and into the RTD tea segment, Ito En North America has developed a new range of “ice-steeped” cold brew teas. The company will debut the products, which stretch across three of its brands -- matcha LOVE, TEAS’ TEA Organic and Oi Ocha -- at the upcoming Natural Products Expo West 2017.

Starbucks Launches Teavana RTD Teas

Starbucks today announced that a new line of bottled teas under its Teavana brand will soon hit the market in four states. The news comes approximately eight months after Starbucks and Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) announced a partnership in which the beer giant would manufacture and distribute the teas.

Tractor Soda Partners With AccelFoods

Tractor Soda founder Travis Potter praised the investment as a partnership that will align the company with AccelFoods’ broad network of industry contacts and provide guidance on corporate staffing.