Katy Latimer is the Vice President for Product Development and Culinary Innovation for PepsiCo’s Global Research and Development Team, located in Valhalla, NY. Katy joined PepsiCo in 1997 and currently leads the Global Product Development Department that brings new innovation to life from idea to launch across multiple brands in support of Cola, Lemon-Lime, Flavor, Energy, Hydration, and Food Service platforms globally. Additionally, her newly formed Valhalla Beverage Culinary Innovation and Mixology Center is focused on upfront ideation and consumer closeness for creation of robust product pipeline and Food Service customer support. The uniqueness of her team marries food science with culinary creativity coupled with an ideation center, which Katy calls the “beverage think tank”, a center to inspire creative thinking.
Katy and her team have developed and launched many new products globally. Katy is a recognized expert in new product development, commercialization processes and thrives on leveraging technical solutions for innovation. A recent development was Mountain Dew Kick Start, which has proven to be one of the most successful launches in the category in the past decade and is on track to exceed targets again in its second year.
Katy is also passionate about talent development and leverages her culinary center to provide onsite Certified Culinary Scientist program to enhance product development skills through culinary arts, with the first class of students passing their test administered by the Research Chef’s Association. Katy is also a member of the PepsiCo Global Rotation Program, which provides unique critical experiences to develop junior talent across Global R&D.
Prior to this position, Katy has held positions in strategy, commercialization engineering and various product development roles creating optimized Mirinda Orange formulations as well as new innovation for Global Cola portfolio. Prior to PepsiCo she worked for Joseph E. Seagram & Sons and for Kraft Foods.
Katy holds an M.S. in Biotechnology from Manhattan College and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McGill University. Outside of work, Katy has a busy family life with two daughters 15 and 18. She enjoys cooking, baking and many sports (running, softball, volleyball, skiing, etc.). Much of her free time is spent cheering her girls on at their various activities.