Luigi Bonini is senior vice president, Product Experience for Starbucks. He leads the Food and Beverage Product teams, Product Portfolio and Pricing Strategy teams, the R&D and Engineering groups and Tryer Center. The group’s primary responsibilities are in the management of the product portfolio and product and equipment innovation for the U.S. Retail business and the global consumer packaged goods (CPG) business. This collective group has generated many notable successes over the years, including a wave of industry-leading handcrafted cold coffee beverages: Iced Shaken Espresso, Cold Brew, Nitro, Starbucks Refreshers™ and signature cold foam beverages such Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. In CPG channels, products include Starbucks Doubleshot®, Starbucks BAYA™ Energy and ready-to-drink Starbucks® Nitro Cold Brew; in the food category, Sous Vide Egg Bites and breakfast sandwiches; and equipment innovations such as include Mastrena and new espresso and cold brewers.
Prior to joining Starbucks, Luigi gained more than 20 years of experience in product innovation in the food industry with some of the world’s most iconic brands. An honors graduate in food science from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, Luigi began his career in quality assurance in the food ingredients sector of the Tongaat Hulett Group in South Africa. He followed this with a move into product and process development with Kraft Foods in its European Research and Development headquarters in Munich, Germany.
In 1996, he joined Yum! Brands as technical manager for the Middle East region, and moved to Singapore in 2000 to lead quality assurance and new product innovation for the company’s Asia franchise business unit. In 2006, he became Vice President, Food Innovation & Technology for the Pizza Hut brand, a global role based in Dallas, Texas. Later, he led innovation globally for both the Pizza Hut & KFC brands. Among his achievements at Yum! was establishing a council of Power Innovators, a group of leading innovators from around the world to drive product and platform innovation.
Luigi was born and raised in Scotland and currently lives in Seattle, Washington. He is fluent in German, French and Italian and enjoys competitive swimming in his spare time. His favorite Starbucks beverage is a Flat White.