Ray Latif

Posts by Ray Latif

Expo West Video: Juice Served Here's Multi-Channel Strategy

In a video interview with BevNET CEO John Craven and filmed at Natural Products Expo West 2017, Matthews noted that while “grocery is an important category” for the company, its broader multi-channel strategy that has given it a competitive edge over competing cold-pressed juice brands.

Celsius Lands $15M In New Investment

Celsius Holdings, Inc., the maker of zero-calorie fitness drink brand Celsius, this week announced a new $15 million round of funding led by current investor Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures, a private investment arm of billionaire Li Ka-Shing. Gloria Tang Tsz-kei, a popular Chinese singer-songwriter known as G.E.M, and zVentures, the strategic investment arm of Razer, a leading lifestyle brand for gamers, were also investors in the round.

Expo West Video: Cold Brew Casts a Wider Net

As the cold brew coffee category evolves, more brands are showing innovative flavors and line extensions, as well as introducing novel packaging formats. Meanwhile, a handful of tea companies are also using the brewing method, promoting their new products as having a smoother and more complex taste profile than hot brewed tea.

Expo West Video: La Colombe CEO on Retail Growth, Innovation

Todd Carmichael, the co-founder and CEO of La Colombe, says he has a “firm belief that nothing is ever truly finished.” He is, however, content with the recent completion of the company’s 60,000 sq. ft. production facility, one that will support a dramatic increase in the distribution and retail placement of its RTD Draft Latte products.

Video: The Editors’ Top 10 New Product Intros from Expo West 2017

In the above video, BevNET CEO John Craven and BevNET Managing Editor Ray Latif offered their takes on the 10 new product introductions that were most notable and impactful for the industry. The list includes innovative products in fast-growing categories, including bone broth and healthy juice, as well as probiotic beverages, tea and kombucha.

Photo Gallery: New Products, Brand Updates from Expo West

Natural Products Expo West 2017 concluded its three-day stand in Anaheim, Calif. on Sunday, March 12. Throughout the exhibition halls, many beverage brands utilized the show as a springboard for new product introductions and package revamps. In the following slideshow, we take a look at the numerous updates.

Kevin Klock Departs As CEO of Talking Rain

In a highly unexpected move, Kevin Klock has departed as president and CEO of Talking Rain, the maker of Sparkling Ice. Talking Rain CFO Marcus Smith has assumed Klock’s responsibilities “with full shareholder support,” according to a company statement.

Expo West Video: Key Discoveries From The Hot Products Exhibits

In this video, BevNET correspondents John Craven and Ray Latif identified several important and impactful new products from Expo West 2017's Hot Products Exhibits and discussed ways in which early-stage brands are aligning with the most significant trends in the industry.

Califia Farms Wades Into Organic With New Nut Milk Line; Revamps Protein Products

Natural beverage maker Califia Farms has for the first time entered the organic drink market with the launch of Homestyle Nutmilks. The drinks will debut this week at Natural Products Expo West 2017, where Califia will also introduce a restaging of its protein beverages, two additions to its Almondmilk line and a new multi-serve offering for its Pure Black cold brew coffee.

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.