CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. is leveling up its foodservice offerings with a new Culinary Innovation Center.
The 12,000-square-foot facility in Cincinnati features various cooking stations and video technology that Kroger will use to stream training videos to employees across its nearly 2,800 locations. The center is built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
Besides offering team members a hands-on education, the test kitchen will help the Cincinnati-based chain develop new meal-kit recipes, restaurant concepts and Kroger-branded products, Daniel Hammer, Kroger's vice president of culinary development and new business, said in a statement.
The public will be invited into the complex for events such as food tastings and focus groups. "The Center gives our culinary team a fun, modern space to innovate and experiment with food trends, flavors and ingredients to create new experiences for our customers," Hammer said.
The Culinary Innovation Center is just one step the company is taking to redefine the food and grocery experience, even as it steps away from the c-store business with its sale of more than 760 stores this past February. In 2017, Kroger responded to the growing subscription meal market with in-store meal kits. As of December, customers could purchase the Prep+Pared Meal Kits in 200 stores, and more locations are planned. In November, Kroger launched Kitchen 1883, a restaurant concept that offers American comfort food during lunch and dinner, and brunch on the weekend.