Does Online Grocery Shopping Lead to More Nutritious Purchases?

Online grocery stores have been trying to get a foothold in the U.S. market ever since they were considered the "next big thing" in the dot-com frenzy of the late-1990s. Today’s e-commerce grocers, such as FreshDirect and Peapod, promise fresh food delivered to your door, but their reach is still limited. A recent study of student behavior conducted at SUNY Albany gives a boost to the concept, suggesting that people who shop for groceries online may make healthier choices than if they had taken a trip to the local supermarket.

Don't go down that aisle:

  • Even students who had self-identified as “very impulsive” were able to choose healthy food when shopping online, the researchers said.

  • The researchers admit that the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in August 2017, was small and hasn’t yet been peer reviewed.

  • A 2011 Forbes report claimed that the inability to see (and feel) what you’re buying -- fish and meat, for example, or fruits and vegetables -- may keep the online grocery business model from ever succeeding.

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