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Online grocery stores

Health Factors: Diet & Exercise
Decision Makers: Community Members Employers & Businesses
Evidence Rating: Insufficient Evidence
Population Reach: 50-99% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Online grocery stores are internet-based shopping sites where people can order refrigerated, frozen, and non-perishable groceries to be delivered to their residence. Online grocery stores often have a wide variety of products and create personal shopping lists and recurring orders to make grocery shopping faster.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased access to healthy food
Improved food environment
Improved dietary choices

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether online grocery stores increase access to healthy food or improve the food environment. Available evidence suggests that using online grocery stores may encourage healthier eating behaviors by reducing unhealthy impulse purchases and improving the home food environment (Gorin 2007). Online grocery stores may also increase healthy food access in urban areas (Appelhans 2013). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

Interviews suggest that consumers appreciate the convenience of online grocery shopping, but remain concerned about receiving inferior quality groceries (Ramus 2005).


United States

Many online grocery stores are available nationally including Amazon Grocery, Fresh Direct, MySupermarket, Netgrocer, Peapod, AllSuperStore, ShopFoodEx, GoBio!, Safeway, and USGrocer (, Some areas have developed online food purchasing options such as the Homegrown Local Food Co-op in Orlando, Florida, which is an online farmers’ market that sells healthy foods for either home delivery or pick-up (Homegrown Coop).

Citations - Evidence

Appelhans 2013 - Appelhans BM, Lynch EB, Martin MA, et al. Feasibility and acceptability of internet grocery service in an urban food desert, Chicago, 2011-2012. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2013;10(8):E67. Accessed on November 27, 2015
Gorin 2007 - Gorin AA, Raynor HA, Niemeier HM, Wing RR. Home grocery delivery improves the household food environments of behavioral weight loss participants: Results of an 8-week pilot study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2007;4(58):1–6. Accessed on November 18, 2015
Ramus 2005* - Ramus K, Nielsen NA. Online grocery retailing: What do consumers think? Internet Research. 2005;15(3):335–52. Accessed on November 17, 2015

Citations - Implementation - Boswell W. Online grocery shopping: The top nine websites. Accessed on November 23, 2015
Homegrown Coop - Homegrown Local Food Co-op: Orlando, FL. Accessed on January 12, 2016 - The power to buy. The power to save. Accessed on May 24, 2016

Page Last Updated

May 27, 2014

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