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Kroger Announces Plans to Build Culinary Institute

Kroger Announces Plans to Build Culinary Institute

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Retailers continue to up their strategies and tap in on shifting consumer demand. This time, Kroger is heading the trending announcements by announcing that the company will make a sizeable investment into a new culinary training and education center.

Rodney McCullen, CEO, Kroger

“We’ll have a facility that’s incredibly up to date for chefs to do what chefs do and make some great product,” said CEO Rodney McMullen. “But they’ll also be able to give us more insight on food trends, so when you think about our corporate brands, making sure we’re developing the right flavors, the right trends, the right product lines.” 

Kroger will invest $2.5 million into a 12,270-square-foot facility in a remodeled building in downtown Cincinnati for the center, according to The Cincinnati Business Courier. At least 20 chefs at a time will inhabit the center for up to two days to exchange ideas and skill sets. 

“We believe this will further establish Cincinnati as a hub for the food industry,” continued McMullen. “It’s nice this is in Cincinnati. The food scene here is kind of fun.” 

McMullen said that this latest investment by Kroger not only follows a trending need from consumer culture, but is also in line with several other venture capitalist partnerships and restaurant start-ups to invest in the nationwide food scene.

Mike Donnelley, Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Kroger

“It’s more about the food experience for us,” stated Mike Donnelley, Executive Vice President of Merchandising. “It’s about how to stay more in tune with food trends.”

Kroger plans to begin construction on the project next month, and gave the detailings for the investment at its annual shareholders’ meeting last week. The company also stated interest in developing a delivery meal service.

Kroger’s culinary institute seems to be matching a rising trend in the buy-side industry as Walmart also debuted its own culinary center earlier this year to develop products and demand based on consumer trends. 

DeliMarket News will continue to have the latest as retailers sharpen their strategies to match consumer trends and shifting food culture, and its impact on the industry.