The confluence of Big Data analytics and digital media is rapidly transforming the retail and grocery marketplace, fundamentally altering how food companies engage with consumers and how families make nutrition choices. This model of food marketing could exacerbate existing health disparities, especially in areas where youth are at higher risk for obesity, and where the choices for healthy foods are limited, but it also creates opportunities for harnessing digitally-driven Big Data as a positive force for health. The primary purpose of this study is to determine the key research questions public health researchers need to investigate to understand the public health implications of “path-to-purchase” and retail food and beverage marketing. The research will be qualitative in nature, relying on published data from a variety of sources; consultation with public health researchers, practitioners, and legal scholars; and interviews with representatives of major retail chains, food companies, and data analytics firms. Findings will help to inform public health scholars of the nature and extent of the transformation of the retail setting, and help researchers construct the studies needed to assess, and respond to, this new landscape.
Using Big Data and the Digital Retail Marketplace to Inform Public Health Studies
Digital Food and Beverage Marketing Environments in a National Sample of Middle Schools: Implications for Policy and Practice
One promising approach to influence nutrition behavior is to limit food and beverage marketing to children. Children are a lucrative market and schools may be an effective setting in which to intervene. Studies have shown that marketing in schools is prevalent but little is known about digital marketing to students … More
Retailers and other organizations currently use a variety of nutrition standards and recommendations to guide consumers towards healthier, “Better for You”, options. This variety can be confusing to consumers. Healthy Eating Research convened a scientific advisory committee to review existing “Better-For-You” nutrition standards, and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. The … More
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More