Luigi Bonini is senior vice president, Global Product Innovation for Starbucks. He leads product development and innovation for the company’s food and beverage categories, including U.S. Retail, CPG, Tea, Evolution Fresh, and the Roastery and Reserve stores. Since joining Starbucks in 2011, his team has delivered more than 300 products annually with a product innovation approach that is tailored to the company’s brand. This strategy has generated many notable successes including: Chestnut Praline Latte; Toasted Graham Latte; S’mores Frappuccino; Starbucks Bistro Boxes; and the Roastery signature beverage lineup. In partnership with the Category Brand Management team, he has created a pipeline of product platforms that will set up Starbucks businesses for continued growth.
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.