Online purchasing was related to decrease spending on sure unhealthy, impulse-sensitive meals.

When purchasing on-line, members surveyed spent extra money, bought extra gadgets, and spent much less on sweet and desserts than after they shopped in-store, in accordance with a brand new examine within the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, revealed by Elsevier.

In latest years, on-line grocery purchasing has grown exponentially. To describe the grocery purchasing patterns of people that shopped each on-line and in-store and consider whether or not buyers bought fewer unhealthy, impulse-sensitive gadgets on-line, 137 major family buyers in Maine who shopped at the very least as soon as in-store and on-line (with curbside pickup) had been studied for 5,573 whole transactions from 2015-2017.

“There were differences in both the quantity and types of food purchased when shopping online compared to in-store. When study participants were shopping online, they spent about 44 percent more per transaction, and they purchased a greater number and variety of items compared to when they shopped in-store,” stated lead creator Laura Zatz, ScD, MPH, Department of Nutrition and Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. “We also found that shopping online was associated with reduced spending per transaction on candy, cold or frozen desserts, and grain-based desserts like cookies and cake.”

When purchasing on-line, members surveyed spent extra money, bought extra gadgets, and spent much less on sweet and desserts than after they shopped in-store. Credit: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

Spending on sugary drinks and candy and salty snacks didn’t change when shoppers had been purchasing on-line versus in-store. Researchers discovered that in-store buyers had been spending a median of $2.50 extra per transaction on sweet and desserts.

When contemplating why there was no distinction within the on-line versus in-store buy of candy and salty snacks and sugary drinks, researchers hypothesized that these things might not be as impulse-sensitive as initially anticipated regardless of their distinguished placement in endcaps and checkout shows.

“Sugary drinks and snacks might have been a planned purchase for many in our study sample. That would fit with other industry research showing that neither sweet and salty snacks nor sugary drinks are in the top five categories of unplanned food purchases,” stated senior creator Eric Rimm, ScD, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition on the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“With more people buying their groceries online, it will be really important to understand how that impacts the nutritional profile of the foods they purchase,” Dr. Zatz stated. “Encouragingly, our results suggest that online grocery shopping is associated with reduced spending on several unhealthy items. However, we’ll want to monitor shopping patterns to make sure sophisticated online marketing tactics, like personalized pop-up ads, don’t override that.” Assessing the evolution of promoting practices within the on-line grocery setting shall be an vital space for future inquiry, particularly as extra shoppers use on-line grocery purchasing through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reference: “Comparing Online and In-Store Grocery Purchases” by Laura Y. Zatz, ScD, MPH; Alyssa J. Moran, ScD, MPH; Rebecca L Franckle, ScD, MPH; Jason P. Block, MD, MPH; Tao Hou, MPH; Dan Blue, BA; Julie C. Green, MPH; Steven Gortmaker, PhD; Sara N. Bleich, PhD; Michele Polacsek, PhD, MHS; Anne N. Thorndike, MD, MPH; and Eric B. Rimm, ScD, 8 June 2021, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2021.03.001

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