CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. has opened a culinary innovation center in Cincinnati. The 12,000-square-foot space features a commercial kitchen with multiple cooking stations and capabilities.

“Kroger’s new culinary innovation center is an exciting state-of-the-art test kitchen and education center,” said Daniel Hammer, vice-president of culinary development and new business at Kroger. “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.”

Kroger introduced its first restaurant concept, Kitchen 1883, last November and launched the Prep + Pared Meal Kits earlier in the year. The company plans to expand the availability of the meal kits in the year ahead.

“Kroger has operated grocery stores since 1883; we know food,” Mr. Hammer said. “People will always eat, but the way they eat will always change. Our new center is one more tool we have to keep our pulse on customer trends and expand our foodie culture.”