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

Photo Gallery: New Products, Brand Updates From Summer Fancy Food Show 2017

Over the course of the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show, a three-day specialty foods convention held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City from June 25-27, we encountered a broad array of new products, design revamps and line extensions, all of which are included in this photo gallery.

Suppliers Predict Benefits for New Brands in WFM/Amazon Combo

At first, suppliers weren’t sure what to make of the deal, with numerous food and beverage companies reserving their comments. Now, after more than a week’s reflection, many have told BevNET and sister site Project NOSH they are excited about the potential sales opportunities the partnership could provide, expressing enthusiasm for how it will maintain or even enhance Whole Foods’ reputation as a launching pad for small brands.

Dean Foods Acquires Uncle Matt’s Organic

In a call with BevNET, Uncle Matt’s CEO Matt McLean said that while there were a variety of potential options for both new investment and acquisition of the company, “we fell in love the Dean Foods team and what they could offer."

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.