A Peek Inside Walmart’s New Test Kitchen

By Charles Redfield
June 2, 2016
Culinary & Innovation Center exterior

Innovation has long been part of Walmart’s culture. Testing items, listening to our customers’ feedback and coming up with great product ideas – like Mystery Peeps and our new Sam’s Choice premium ice creams – are some of the best parts of our jobs. That’s why we’re excited to open our new Culinary and Innovation Center, a place dedicated to this very process.

When it comes to the groceries we bring home to our families, all of us expect high quality. To deliver on this, Walmart’s teams test thousands of items a year – helping our food merchants act as a strong voice for customers, both within Walmart and in conversations with our suppliers.

At our new Culinary & Innovation Center, we have a fresh set of capabilities to both imagine the next great items for you and your family, and maintain quality long after the products arrive on our shelves. For example, we designed test kitchens as if they were going into our customers’ homes. From ovens and grills to microwaves and stoves, these varied setups help us understand the experience customers will have when they bring an item home. This new center also includes a sensory lab where we’ll collect direct, honest feedback from customers and associates in real time – building on the success we’ve seen through a similar facility at our Sam’s Club headquarters.

Another exciting aspect of this new center? Kitchens that replicate our bakeries and service delis, helping us think through real-life execution for store associates and get increased feedback from them. After all, many of the best ideas across Walmart come from associates in our stores.

We love perfecting food at Walmart and are proud to be the nation’s largest grocer. Our private brands team (the people behind Great Value, Marketside and the like) hit a home run by making this new facility a reality. It represents the heart of what we do – advocating for our customers by creating exciting items, ensuring quality and always delivering low prices.