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YFCS Faculty Member Publish Research on Grocery Purchasing Habits among Rural and Urban Residents

Lindsey Hayes-Maslow

In collaboration with colleagues from University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee and New York University, Dr. Lindsey Haynes-Maslow recently co-authored an article on an online intervention pilot for the grocery purchasing habits among rural and urban residents. The article appears in the journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public

Online Pilot Grocery Intervention among Rural and Urban Residents Aimed to Improve Purchasing Habits

Authors: Alison Gustafson, Rachel Gillespie, Emily DeWitt, Brittany Cox, Brynnan Dunaway, Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, Elizabeth Anderson Steeves and Angela C. B. Trude


Online grocery shopping has the potential to improve access to food, particularly among low-income households located in urban food deserts and rural communities. The primary aim of this pilot intervention was to test whether a three-armed online grocery trial improved fruit and vegetable (F&V) purchases. Rural and urban adults across seven counties in Kentucky, Maryland, and North Carolina were recruited to participate in an 8-week intervention in fall 2021. A total of 184 adults were enrolled into the following groups: (1) brick-and-mortar “BM” (control participants only received reminders to submit weekly grocery shopping receipts); (2) online-only with no support “O” (participants received weekly reminders to grocery shop online and to submit itemized receipts); and (3) online shopping with intervention nudges “O+I” (participants received nudges three times per week to grocery shop online, meal ideas, recipes, Facebook group support, and weekly reminders to shop online and to submit itemized receipts). On average, reported food spending on F/V by the O+I participants was USD 6.84 more compared to the BM arm. Online shopping with behavioral nudges and nutrition information shows great promise for helping customers in diverse locations to navigate the increasing presence of online grocery shopping platforms and to improve F&V purchases.