This report intends to bring the local challenge of filling the grocery gap in underserved neighborhoods into focus with local, regional and national factors and grocery industry trends. It also aims to provide foundational market insights for public and private organizations and individuals interested in pursuing the development of new grocery stores in Peoria’s underserved neighborhoods.

Any developments that may arise from information gleaned from this report should be used first and foremost to serve the community and address the ultimate question: what can be done to provide appropriately priced and accessible fresh and healthy foods, and financially sustainable grocery businesses in Peoria’s underserved neighborhoods?

Beyond the intention to be used as a tool to catalyze and inform action-oriented conversations related to grocery stores, this report should not be considered professional financial advice for any person or business. Those with the spark to start healthy, accessible, food-based businesses in their community should consult appropriate business development professionals, such as those listed in this report’s resource section.

Before digging in to the whole report, here are a few highlights regarding the information you will find inside:

Primary Takeaways

  • The global grocery industry is rapidly changing and experiencing major disruptions.

  • Competition is extremely high among chain grocery retailers as discount stores as online retailers claim more of the market share.

  • Brick-and-mortar grocery retail is actually on the rise, although it will look different than the traditional supermarket landscape with more small format stores and incorporation of new technologies.

  • Due to low purchasing power and low population density, the Southside and East Bluff neighborhoods are likely overlooked as they do not meet the standard market indicators for traditional chain grocers.

  • Surveyed residents near the closed Kroger stores desire a new grocery option to fill the resulting grocery gap despite having found alternative places to shop.

  • Alternative grocery retail models must be identified and piloted to fill a gap that traditional larg.e-format grocery stores may no longer fill.

  • Numerous existing efforts and resources exist related to fresh food access in Peoria; these should be coordinated and leveraged in any future effort to launch new grocery retail options that best serve communities with low access

Next Steps

  • Community meetings to share the report, discuss the conclusions and recommendations, and discuss the opportunities and challenges of operating a grocery business.

  • Identify entrepreneurs and/or organizations interested in launching and operating a grocery business that serves the Southside and/or East Bluff neighborhoods.

  • Use data collected for the report, along with further market analyses and business development resources, to assist in the creation of feasible grocery business plans for the Southside and East Bluff neighborhoods.

  • align these efforts with the overall regional food system strategy.


Explore the Report