October 30/San Francisco/Market Wire -- Zola Acai, the world's first Brazilian Superfruit Juice and the best-selling single Acai drink in the natural foods channel according to the SPINS market research firm, today announced the appointment of Felix Maez as CEO.

Maez brings to Zola over 30 years' experience at companies that include RJR Nabisco, Del Monte USA, and Kraft Foods. His accomplishments include growing net sales at Celestial Seasonings from $25 million to $70 million and directing Thai Foods' Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia brands to number-one market positions. The company also announced the appointment of Stephen Buszka, Jr., a 25-year veteran of the food industry, as vice president of sales.

Zola founder and president Chris Cuvelier, who created the Zola Acai beverage, said, "With our backing from Emigrant Capital, the addition of Felix to our team means that we now have the leadership in place needed to take us to the next level of strategic growth. This will also enable me to devote significantly more time to new product research, development and marketing."

Maez commented, "The Acai and superfruit beverage markets are seeing explosive growth relative to other CPG segments, giving Zola the potential to achieve a dominant market position. Acai is looking more and more like the next pomegranate, and with Chris' ability to create the best-tasting, healthiest drinks on the market, I am looking forward to helping Zola realize that potential."

John G. Appel, III, managing director of Emigrant Capital, noted, "We invest in companies capable of being the number-one brand in their segment. By expanding the strategic, sales and financial depth of our executive team, we are now well positioned to execute on our goals for the long-term."

From the November 5, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash