A standardized guide to develop an online grocery store for testing nutrition-related policies and interventions in an online setting

Pasquale E. Rummo, Isabella Higgins, Christina Chauvenet, Annamaria Vesely, Lindsay Jaacks, Lindsey Taillie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Simulated online grocery store platforms are innovative tools for studying nutrition-related policies and point-of-selection/point-of-purchase interventions in online retail settings, yet there is no clear guidance on how to develop these platforms for experimental research. Thus, we created a standardized guide for the development of an online grocery store, including a detailed description of (1) methods for acquiring and cleaning online grocery store data, and (2) how to design a two-dimensional online grocery store experimental platform. We provide guidance on how to address product categorization, product order/sorting and product details, including how to identify outliers and conflicting nutritional information and methods for standardizing prices. We also provide details regarding our process of “tagging” food items that can be leveraged by future studies examining policies and point-of-selection/point-of-purchase interventions targeting red and processed meat and fruits and vegetables. We experienced several challenges, including obtaining accurate and up-to-date product information and images, and accounting for the presence of store-brand products. Regardless, the methodology described herein will enable researchers to examine the effects of a wide array of nutrition-related policies and interventions on food purchasing behaviors in online retail settings, and can be used as a template for reporting procedures in future research
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Early online date24 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • food policy
  • experimental design
  • red meat
  • fruits and vegetables
  • sustainable diet
  • food labels
  • food marketing and promotion

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