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

1
Department of Population Health, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
2
Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
3
Prevention Research Center, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
4
Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security, University of Edinburgh, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
5
Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4527; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094527
Received: 27 January 2021 / Revised: 19 April 2021 / Accepted: 22 April 2021 / Published: 24 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: food policy; experimental design; red meat; fruits and vegetables; sustainable diet; food labels; food marketing and promotion food policy; experimental design; red meat; fruits and vegetables; sustainable diet; food labels; food marketing and promotion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rummo, P.E.; Higgins, I.; Chauvenet, C.; Vesely, A.; Jaacks, L.M.; Taillie, L. A Standardized Guide to Developing an Online Grocery Store for Testing Nutrition-Related Policies and Interventions in an Online Setting. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4527. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094527

AMA Style

Rummo PE, Higgins I, Chauvenet C, Vesely A, Jaacks LM, Taillie L. 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. 2021; 18(9):4527. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094527

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rummo, Pasquale E., Isabella Higgins, Christina Chauvenet, Annamaria Vesely, Lindsay M. Jaacks, and Lindsey Taillie. 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, no. 9: 4527. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094527

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