Featuring a commercial kitchen, cooking stations, education centre and other capabilities, the 12,000 sq ft Culinary Innovation Centre is focused on developing recipes and other concepts for its private own brands and meal kits.
It also includes technology that allows video streaming of education sessions to Kroger associates across the country.
Kroger is the third-largest retailer in the world by revenue. The new research and development lab will be located near its headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.
The latest move comes as part of Kroger’s Restock initiative, which focuses on improving efficiency and revenue streams especially for its prepared foods and restaurant offerings.
"The Center gives our culinary team a fun, modern space to innovate and experiment with food trends, flavours, and ingredients to create new experiences for our customers,” said Daniel Hammer, Kroger's vice president of culinary development and new business.
"Kroger has operated grocery stores since 1883; we know food. 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.”