- Peapod will be moving its headquarters from Skokie, Illinois, to downtown Chicago in April 2018, according to the Chicago Tribune. All 180 employees will make the transition, along with 40 who had been working in a remote satellite office.
- Carrie Bienkowski, Peapod’s chief marketing officer, tells the Tribune that the new office will put Peapod closer to a deeper talent pool of skilled tech and data analytics workers and give the company room to grow.
- The new location will almost double the office space of Peapod’s current location to 55,000 square feet.
As Peapod, founded in 1989, faces increased competition in the food delivery space, executives are moving the company’s headquarters 13 miles south to a city considered by many to be the center of the global food industry.
Peapod's move will put the online grocery deliver pioneer into a neighborhood already home to many large consumer packaged goods companies, such as Kraft Heinz and PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats division. A few companies have recently made the decision to make the Windy City their home. Last year, Conagra relocated its headquarters from Omaha, Nebraska to Chicago. In September, Mars Food, a business unit of Mars, Inc., announced they, too, were moving its North American headquarters from Los Angeles to Chicago. Now, Peapod will be their newest neighbor.
By moving south to Chicago, Peapod, a division of Ahold Delhaize, gains the advantage of operating next to CPG manufacturing leaders and various food-oriented third-party research vendors. By relocating, Peapod also gains access to experienced food industry talent. In addition, its new location will allow all of its employees to finally work together on one floor, with plenty of room for expansion.
Another advantage to Peapod’s new address is the potential to further collaborate with other Chicago-area food companies. In recent years, the grocery delivery company teamed up with Conagra Brands, Kraft Heinz and Barilla to put together meal kits. It's possible that other partnerships are on the horizon.
Why do all of these food companies love the Chicago area so much? Many of itscompetitors are based there, so it’s logical to want to be in the same zip code. Also, the real estate is somewhat cheaper than in New York or Los Angeles, which could help lower operating costs.
Nearly two decades ago, Peapod emerged as the sole survivor of the online grocery collapse, narrowly escaping the financial carnage that befell other competitors. Now, the dotcom survivor is gearing up for another bruising battle with aggressive, deep-pocketed challengers, including AmazonFresh, Instacart and FreshDirect, who are fighting for online supremacy in a decidedly old-school business. Being in Chicago won't guarantee success for Peapod, but it's ability to draw talent and work closer with other large food companies can only help increase its chances of energizing the latest war as a survior.