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Online grocery shopping: promise and pitfalls for healthier food and beverage purchases

  • Stephanie B Jilcott Pitts (a1), Shu Wen Ng (a2), Jonathan L Blitstein (a3), Alison Gustafson (a4) and Mihai Niculescu (a5)...



(i) To determine the current state of online grocery shopping, including individuals’ motivations for shopping for groceries online and types of foods purchased; and (ii) to identify the potential promise and pitfalls that online grocery shopping may offer in relation to food and beverage purchases.


PubMed, ABI/INFORM and Google Scholar were searched to identify published research.


To be included, studies must have been published between 2007 and 2017 in English, based in the USA or Europe (including the UK), and focused on: (i) motivations for online grocery shopping; (ii) the cognitive/psychosocial domain; and (iii) the community or neighbourhood food environment domain.


Our search yielded twenty-four relevant papers.


Findings indicate that online grocery shopping can be a double-edged sword. While it has the potential to increase healthy choices via reduced unhealthy impulse purchases, nutrition labelling strategies, and as a method to overcome food access limitations among individuals with limited access to a brick-and-mortar store, it also has the potential to increase unhealthy choices due to reasons such as consumers’ hesitance to purchase fresh produce online.


Additional research is needed to determine the most effective ways to positively engage customers to use online grocery shopping to make healthier choices.

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Online grocery shopping: promise and pitfalls for healthier food and beverage purchases

  • Stephanie B Jilcott Pitts (a1), Shu Wen Ng (a2), Jonathan L Blitstein (a3), Alison Gustafson (a4) and Mihai Niculescu (a5)...


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