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.

Contact Information »

Posts by Ray Latif

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.

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”; Protein’s Potential

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 2017 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.