Food retail is a key setting that influences the diets and health of children and families. The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store (e.g., rural vs. urban or low vs. high-income neighborhoods) as well as by store type (e.g., supercenters/big box stores, grocery stores, corner stores, online food shopping, etc.). Research in this area focuses on investigating strategies to improve the availability, accessibility, affordability, and demand for healthier products within the food retail setting.

Research & Publications See all

April 2022

A click too far from fresh foods: A mixed methods comparison of online and in-store grocery behaviors among low-income households

A recent policy in the U.S. authorized monthly benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to be used online to increase grocery access and promote healthy eating. This study examined online grocery attitudes and purchasing behaviors among low-income SNAP-eligible households with young children with and without online grocery experience. An explanatory sequential mixed methods More

April 2022

Food Marketing Practices of Major Online Grocery Retailers in the United States, 2019-2020

Food marketing influences consumers’ preferences for and selection of marketed products. Although a substantial body of research has described food-marketing practices in brick-and-mortar stores, no research has examined food marketing in online grocery retail despite its growing importance as a source of food-at-home purchases. This study aimed to develop and apply a coding instrument to More

April 2022

Nutrition-related claims lead parents to choose less healthy drinks for young children: a randomized trial in a virtual convenience store

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit drinks, contributes to childhood obesity. We aimed to examine whether nutrition-related claims on fruit drinks influence purchasing among parents and lead to misperceptions of healthfulness. We conducted an experiment in a virtual convenience store with 2219 parents of children ages 1-5 y. Parents were randomly assigned to view fruit More

February 2022

The Impact of a Pricing Manipulation Intervention on Food Sales in a Small Community Grocery Store in Baltimore City

This study tested a pricing manipulation strategy in a small grocery store to assess the impact on food sales. The prices of 35 healthy foods were decreased over time while simultaneously increasing the prices of 45 unhealthy foods. Trends in sales were examined across each manipulation period. Total sales of healthy foods remained relatively stable More