No digital equivalent to Impulse aisle found as online grocery shoppers buy fewer sugary treats than in real life • The Register

There is no digital equivalent to the supermarket’s love or hate impulse aisle, with shoppers spending significantly less on candy, cookies and other treats online than in the real world.

At least that’s what a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Behavior Education, which examined 137 top domestic shoppers in the state of Maine who have purchased at least once in-store and online, and analyzed over 5,500 transactions made between 2015 and 2017. Conclusion: We are much less likely to buy treats online. than in person, despite the more comprehensive purchase.

“When study participants shopped online, they spent about 44% more per transaction, and they bought more and a wider variety of items than when they shopped in-store,” said Dr. Laura Zatz, lead researcher.

“We also found that online shopping was associated with reduced spend per transaction on candy, cold or frozen desserts, and cereal-based desserts like cookies and cakes.”

However, that doesn’t mean that online shopping is healthier. While spending on many of the items you might find tempting on the supermarket shelves fell on average by just over $ 2.50 per transaction, this was not true for all. The study found that online and offline shoppers spent equal amounts on sugary drinks and sweet and savory snacks.

“Sugary drinks and snacks might have been an intended purchase for many members of our study sample,” said co-author Dr. Eric Rimm of the apparent flavorful anomaly. “This would be consistent with other industry research showing that neither sweet and savory snacks nor sugary drinks are among the top five categories of unplanned food purchases.”

“With more and more people shopping online, it will be really important to understand how this affects the nutritional profile of the foods they buy,” concluded Dr. Zatz.

“Encouragingly, our results suggest that online grocery shopping is associated with reduced spending on several unhealthy items. However, we’ll want to monitor buying habits to make sure that sophisticated online marketing tactics, like personalized contextual ads, don’t replace this. . “

The complete study is available in free access on the site Journal of Nutrition and Behavior Education website. ®

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