Are online grocery stores being designed to support consumer nutrition information needs?

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With a steady growth in online grocery shopping, a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, published by Elsevier, examines the availability of nutrition-related information on leading grocery store websites.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota assessed 12 US grocery websites and evaluated the availability of -related features for 26 different on leading grocery store websites. Nutrition facts panels and ingredient statement information were available for 85 percent of the packaged foods and nutrition facts panel information was accessible within one click of the product page for the majority of items. However, nutrition facts panels and ingredient statement information were not universally available for food items for which labeling on product packaging is mandatory, and this information was not always easily accessed or legible.

Additionally, research found that most online stores offer the ability to filter food search results based on nutrition-related food attribute. For example, consumers may search for gluten-free options. However, the ability to sort by a nutrition attribute like sodium quantity per serving was not an option on any of the online stores.

"At the time we were designing this study there were very few published articles evaluating online grocery stores and very few articles evaluating even how consumers shop for groceries online in any capacity." stated Kelly Olzenak, MPH, RD, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA. Consequently, this research paves the way for many future studies on the topic of online shopping and its effect on the nutritional choices of consumers.

Lead investigator Kelly Olzenak, MPH, RD, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, discusses a new study that examines the availability of nutrition-related information on leading grocery store websites. Credit: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

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More information: "How Online Grocery Stores Support Consumer Nutrition Information Needs," Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2020.07.009
Provided by Elsevier
Citation: Are online grocery stores being designed to support consumer nutrition information needs? (2020, October 7) retrieved 29 November 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-10-online-grocery-consumer-nutrition.html
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