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

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.

First Beverage Invests in Mezcal Brand, Gem&Bolt

First Beverage Ventures, the private equity arm of First Beverage Group, today announced an investment in mezcal brand Gem&Bolt, marking the first time that the firm has invested in a distilled spirits company.

Draft Latte Powers La Colombe to Big Start in 2017

La Colombe’s canned Draft Latte has been on the market for just over a year, but the innovative beverage is now the fastest growing RTD coffee in the U.S., according to the premium coffee manufacturer and retailer, which cited recent sales data from market research firm IRI.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 58: Why Juice Press is “Constantly Reinventing the Wheel”; The Soylent Phenomenon

In this episode of the BevNET Podcast, Marcus Antebi, who launched cold-pressed juice chain Juice Press in 2010 and now presides over a chain of 62 stores across the Northeast, explained his belief that “common innovation is complete” and that it’s incumbent upon food and beverage manufacturers to up the ante with nutrient-dense ingredients and formulations.

Lumi Juice to Move Headquarters to Pennsylvania, Puts HPP Machine On the Market

Cold-pressed juice brand Lumi Juice is moving its headquarters to the Philadelphia area as it seeks to reduce overhead costs and expand its distribution footprint. The company, recently signed a deal with Universal Pasteurization, a provider of cold storage and HPP services to food and beverage manufacturers, to lease a 6,000 sq. ft space within its Malvern, Penn. facility.

Nakasone at the Helm of Purity Organic as Minnick, Guard Depart

Organic beverage maker Purity Organic is looking to fill two key positions in its executive ranks following the recent departures of its president, Dave Minnick, and vice president of operations Andrew Guard. Bob Nakasone, a managing director with First Beverage Ventures, a stakeholder in Purity Organic, has taken the reins of the company on an interim basis.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 57: Whole Foods Fights to Remain Relevant

In this episode of the BevNET Podcast, Sperry, along with Carol Ortenberg, the editor of BevNET sister site Project NOSH, discussed Whole Foods’ efforts to revitalize its brand and assuage key investors in light of its announcement of changes to its board of directors, category management, and the launch of a loyalty program.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 56: Going Next Level With FoodFutureCo

In this edition, we sat down with Gigi Lee Chang, the managing director of cause-oriented food business accelerator FoodFutureCo. Chang, who also founded baby food brand Plum Organics, explained FoodFutureCo’s work in advising and supporting early- and mid-stage food and beverage companies that are providing unique products and solutions for the food system.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 55: Juicero Jeopardy, Sour Soylent, and Avoiding the Bottle Blues

In this episode of the podcast, we discuss some of the big stories in the food and beverage business, including tough press for Juicero, operational issues for brands like Soylent and Reed’s, and the ways the largest, publicly-traded food and beverage companies are attempting to refresh their lineups through transactions -- and through change at the top.

PepsiCo Pulls Stubborn Soda and Caleb’s Kola Because of Sugar Mixup

Last week PepsiCo removed bottled Stubborn Soda and Caleb’s Kola products from the market after discovering recent batches were inadvertently made with beet sugar. The craft sodas are normally formulated with Fair Trade Certified cane sugar and the gaffe was the result of a supplier error, according to the company.