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A Standardized Guide to Developing an Online Grocery Store for Testing Nutrition-Related Policies and Interventions in an Online Setting

Citation

Rummo, Pasquale E.; Higgins, Isabella C. A.; Chauvenet, Christina; Vesely, Annamaria; Jaacks, Lindsay M.; & Taillie, Lindsey Smith (2021). A Standardized Guide to Developing an Online Grocery Store for Testing Nutrition-Related Policies and Interventions in an Online Setting. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(9), 4527. PMCID: PMC8123213

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.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094527

Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type

Regular

Year Published

2021

Journal Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Author(s)

Rummo, Pasquale E.
Higgins, Isabella C. A.
Chauvenet, Christina
Vesely, Annamaria
Jaacks, Lindsay M.
Taillie, Lindsey Smith

PMCID

PMC8123213

Continent/Country

Nonspecific