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

Blue Island Coffee Aims For Escapism

Chris Hopkins wants to take you on a tropical vacation. His mode of transport? Coffee. A longtime beverage sales executive, Hopkins recently launched Blue Island Coffee, a brand designed to carry consumers “away from their daily routine through coffee innovation.”

Expo West 2017 Video: Dairy Alternative and Nut Milk Trends

In this video, BevNET’s John Craven and Ray Latif examine current trends in the dairy alternative category through the lens of the product developments on display at the recently-concluded Natural Products Expo West 2017.

Expo West 2017 Video: Uncle Matt’s Organic Doubles Down on Function

At Natural Products Expo West 2017, organic juice stalwart Uncle Matt’s continued its foray into functional beverages with the debut of a new Organic Energy juice that is formulated with organic coffeeberry and ashwagandha, and extended its probiotic water line with two new varieties.

Celsius Lands $15 Million In New Investment Led By Horizons Ventures

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 2017 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 2017 Video: La Colombe CEO Todd Carmichael on Retail Growth, Innovation Pipeline

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 Introductions 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 2017

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 2017 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.