Like the milkman used to do, more and more retailers will deliver groceries to your doorstep. According to data analytics company Nielsen, 70% of American consumers will do some of their grocery shopping online in the next 5–7 years. How is this shift in food-purchasing behavior going to influence eating habits?
A study in Public Health Nutrition set out to uncover some of the advantages and pitfalls of clicking for our groceries instead of pushing around a cart and taking them home ourselves. After reviewing relevant research papers from the past decade, the researchers determined that online grocery shopping can limit impulse purchases of unhealthy “vice” foods like those tempting candy bars at the checkout. Moreover, people who live in so-called “food deserts” or face mobility disabilities may have better access to more nutritious food when they buy online. On the flipside, people seem to be averse to purchasing perishables online, which may limit their intake of fruits and vegetables. Also, consumers living in lower-income areas may have more limited and pricier shipping options.
Do you buy any of your food-and-beverage groceries online? What do you see as the pros and cons of this shift in food-purchasing behaviors? Do you think supermarkets will survive in this era of online spending?
Send your responses to Sandy Todd Webster at [email protected]