In the interests of full disclosure, I'm happy to point out that I proudly worked for a grocery store (Pineway Supermarket in Oregon, Illinois) for about three years, and even with that experience, I didn't know what the number one most stolen item is.

If it helps you to figure it out, I can tell you that Illinois' most stolen grocery store item is also the entire world's most stolen grocery store item. Take a look a couple of photos and see if you spot the item in question.

Composition with variety of grocery products
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Young blond woman choposing nail polish
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The Item We're Talking About Is In One Of The 3 Photos Above

Okay, admittedly there are more than a few items in those shots, so let me give you some choices to make. The answer is one of these items:

  • Frozen items
  • Over the counter medications
  • Baby formula
  • Spirits, wine, or beer
  • Cosmetics
  • Cheese
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Candy

One other clue would be that 4 percent of this item is stolen globally, which is a lot more than anything else.

Retail Shoplifting. Woman Stealing In Supermarket. Theft At Shop
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Kleptomania
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Got it figured out? Tired of trying to guess and would just like me to get to it already?

Here's your answer:

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A young male customer shopping for gourmet cheese in a specialty grocery store
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Illinois' And The World's Most Stolen Grocery Store Item Is Cheese

The U.K. Center For Retail Research surveyed 1,187 retailers representing more than 250,000 retail outlets across 43 countries, and cheese trumps fresh meat, chocolate, alcohol, seafood, cosmetics, and infant formula, all of which made the most-stolen list.

EatThis.com:

And it isn't just random shoplifters who steal cheese for their own consumption. Most of the 4% figure is comprised of larger-scale black market operations, where the goods end up being re-sold to shops and restaurants.
Notable incidents of cheese theft include a two-year operation running from 2014 until 2016, in which thieves operating in Italy's Province of Reggio Emilia stole an estimated $7 million-worth of Parmesan cheese, according to CBS News.

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