Kroger opens Culinary Innovation Centre for better food

USA – The Kroger Company has unveiled a Culinary Innovation Centre equipped with a new high-tech kitchen to develop new recipes by utilizing various flavors, used in Kroger delis, meal kits, in-store bistros and Kitchen 1883.

Kroger’s Kitchen 1883 is a Kroger-owned restaurant in Union offering lunch and dinner menus including appetizers, salads, sandwiches, desserts, main dishes, kids menu and weekend brunch menu.

Kroger will also use the test kitchen to explore new restaurant concepts and menu recipes.

As a dealer in grocery, Kroger’s investment aims to developing innovative recipes that will match or surpass online invasion by grocery giants such as Amazon and Walmart.

The commercial kitchen has multiple cooking stations, spaces and capabilities as well as technology that allow video streaming of educational sessions to Kroger associates across the country.

According to Daniel Hammer, vice president of culinary development and new business at Kroger, the centre gives the culinary team a fun, modern space to innovate and experiment with food trends, flavors and ingredients to create new experiences for our customers.

“As we focus on redefining the customer experience and developing talent through food inspiration and uplift, as outlined in Restock Kroger, this R&D lab will allow us to accelerate product development for Our Brands, produce new recipes for Prep + Pared Meal Kits, explore new restaurant concepts, host food tastings and focus groups, and increase our associates’ culinary knowledge,” said Hammer.

In addition to serving as a test kitchen and an educational centre, the innovation centre will also host private tasting events and focus groups.

The company is testing a pizza concept brought over from its now-defunct Main and Vine store in Gig Harbor, Wash.

Kroger also launched its Prep + Pared brand to tap into the growing market for meal kits.

Concerning the deal, Chuck Cerankosky, managing director, equity research analyst and principal at Northcoast Research in Cleveland commented that Kroger’s newer flagship locations feature an expanded fresh food offering and the company was getting better at their prepared foods offerings.

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