Secondary Demographic and Market Data Analysis                                          

University of Illinois Extension conducted a retail market analysis utilizing secondary data providing demographic, socio-economic and health data at the neighborhood, county and regional levels. Extension staff utilized ESRI’s Business Analyst to analyze consumer spending patterns, market potential, and consumer profiles using Tapestry Segmentation. Tapestry Segmentation provides a detailed typology of America's neighborhoods—segments based on their socioeconomic and demographic composition.

The highlights and general takeaways from this analysis most relevant to the grocery access study have been extracted for this report. The results of this analysis have been mingled with the resident survey results and the additional market research to inform the conclusions and recommendations section of the report. 

National Grocery Market Research

Greater Peoria Economic Development Council and University of Illinois Extension staff looked beyond primary and secondary data collection, for additional insights into the macro trends of the grocery industry, numerous industry websites and reports were reviewed to identify trends and highlight potential changes in the future.  This additional research serves as an example of the proactive and forward-looking approach needed by public and private entities working to create sustainable grocery access solutions in underserved communities. A better understanding of the “big picture” of the grocery industry will improve planning for food initiatives and business.

This information was collected via numerous web-based sources and is presented through a series of highlighted excerpts and preliminary analysis.  Additional expert analysis and a continuing culture of trend analysis and forecasting is needed. This dynamic industry requires constant attention for one to remain “ahead of the curve”.

Resident Survey

Understanding of the impact of the grocery store closures was increased by a residential survey conducted with the support of University of Illinois Extension, Bradley University, City of Peoria, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, and the Caterpillar Community Analytics Team (CAT).  More than 900 resident surveys were collected utilizing a volunteer cross sectional sampling methodology which provided the best fit for the purpose of this study.

The survey covered the following subject matter with 38 questions:
● Impact of nearby Kroger closure on shopping patterns and access to grocery categories
● Changes in shopping location since closures
● Grocery product availability at the current store or pantry location
● Preference for types of grocery stores
● Preference for types of grocery products
● Transportation methods to obtain groceries
● Affordability of nearest grocery options
● Demographics

(Link to the survey instrument)

Resident surveys for the study were collected and various community events and with the help of multiple organizations and volunteers.

Resident surveys for the study were collected and various community events and with the help of multiple organizations and volunteers.

Survey Distribution Method

The team officially launched the survey during the week of July 22, 2018.  Distribution was both digital and physical with promotion via local traditional media, social media, organization websites,paper flyers, and at public events. 

It is important to note that this is a convenience sample. Participants were not randomly selected from the Peoria area or the neighborhoods served by the Kroger stores that closed in 2018. Given that, it is important to note that participants self selected and that they may be less diverse in terms of their grocery shopping needs and habits than the overall population of interest. 

Primary Flyer Locations:  Wisconsin Business corridor, Garden Street Businesses

SCUC meetings, Peoria Regional Fresh Food Council meetings, Lincoln Branch Library

Neighborhood House, Human Services Center, EBNHS, East Bluff Community Center

Dream Center Backpack Event, Night Out Against Crime, PCCEO, RFFC meetings

Peoria County Health Dept., University of Illinois Extension 

Media Coverage - Peoria Journal Star, WMBD, WPNV, River City Word, Traveler Weekly Facebook Page,
GPEDC newsletter, Peoria Public Schools Newsletter, University of Illinois Extension Social Media, Youth Services Network, RFFC Facebook boosted post - 3,350 people reached.

Paper Surveys and Drop Box Locations  - Peoria City Hall, Downtown Peoria Library, Heartland Health Center, East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Association, Southside Mission,
Lincoln Branch Library, Neighborhood House, City of Refuge Church, Carver Center, Heartland Clinic, Southside Human Services Center, Neighborhood House, East Bluff Community Center,
Tri-County Urban League, Common Place, SCUC meetings, Back to School Backpack Event

Survey Distribution at Community Programming Events - East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services, Glen Oak Christian Church, Heartland Health Services, Moonlight Coalition, Proctor Center Afterschool Program, Logan Center, ELITE Program, PCCEO, Peoria Public Schools,

Mobile Food Bank, Peoria City/County Health Dept, Adopt a Block – Southside Ministerial Alliance, Southside Community Center, Jehan Gordon- Booth Expungement Summit,

Night Out Against Crime, University of Illinois Extension – EFNEP & SNAP-ED Programs, 

East Bluff Community Center, St Ann’s Garden of Hope event.

The survey was closed on October 5, 2018.  Survey analysis was supported by University of Illinois Extension, Caterpillar Community Analytics, Bradley University, and Greater Peoria EDC. Additional assistance, and data visualization was provided by Caterpillar Community Analytics and Greater Peoria EDC.

918  people responded to the survey, with 245 (27%) respondents living in 61603(East Bluff), 130 (14%) in 61604 (East Bluff), and 245 (27%) in 61605 (Southside).  620 (68%) survey respondents were from the impacted zip code - Map  

It’s important to note that not every survey submitted contained answers to every question and 193 survey respondents did not provide zip codes.  In addition, surveys from outside the targeted area of study were also collected and included in the 918 total completed surveys. In our overview, we will denote the difference between all responses and those who responded in each of the targeted neighborhoods. 

Respondents represented an ethnically diverse population, with significant participation from the Black or African American residents from the Southside and East Bluff neighborhoods.Tthe charts provided show the demographic similarities and differences when comparing respondents to census data.  

Key descriptors for those who shopped at Harmon Highway and Wisconsin Avenue Krogers.

  • 63% of respondents were between 25-64 years of age, 

  • 13% of respondents were over 64 years of age 

Age (bar chart)

323 (35%) respondents were from households with children under the age of 18. When we  look at families impacted from the Southside or East Bluff Neighborhoods, roughly half of respondents who shopped at either closed location are living with children under the age of 18. 

588 (64%) of all survey respondents regularly shopped at one of the closed Kroger stores.  

Of those, 285 indicated that they shopped at Wisconsin Avenue Kroger location with:

  • 175 respondents (61%) residing in 61603; 

  • 25 respondents (8%) residing in 61604, 

  • 21 respondents (8%) residing in 61605

Of the 284 who indicated that they shopped at Harmon Highway Kroger location 

  • 177 respondents (62%) reside in 61605

  • 6 respondents (2%) reside in 61606

  • 7 respondents (2%) reside in 61603

  • 30 respondents (11%) reside in 61604

Grocery Manager Interviews

University of Illinois Extension in partnership with the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council developed a key informant interview protocol, for conversations with grocery store managers to help us better understand to what extent the Kroger closures impacted other grocery retail businesses. Managers of independent grocers, chain stores and big box retail managers in the Greater Peoria region were approached to participate in interviews.  The questions were designed to learn more about consumer shopping patterns from the neighborhoods included in our study as well as shifting grocery retail trends in our region.  

The following stores agreed to participate in this key informant study: Kroger, Schnucks, HyVee, WalMart, Aldi, Target, CostCo, Sous Chef, Pottstown, Haddads, Alwan and Sons Meat Company, and La Esquina de Oro. Due to staffing changes and corporate policies some stores that we approached were not able to participate in the study. 


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