Getting groceries online a healthy trend but may not be sustainable

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Indy Lifestyle Online

According to researchers and health professionals, planning ahead is key to maintaining a healthy diet. Purchasing your groceries online (Amazon, Ocado, Freshline) forces you to plan days in advance.

 

The Economist, the news weekly, tweeted on July 19 that online food shopping is a rapidly growing trend in the US and UK but to date has not proven a profitable business model.

That being said, a 2007 Harvard Business School research working paper, found:

- Consumers spend less and order a higher percentage of "should" [vegetables] items and a lower percentage of "want" [ice cream] items the further in advance of delivery they place a grocery order.

- Encouraging people to order their groceries up to 5 days in advance of consumption could influence the healthfulness of the foods that people consume.

- Similarly, asking students in schools to select their lunches up to a week in advance could considerably increase the healthfulness of the foods they elect to eat.

- Online and catalog retailers that offer a range of goods as well as different delivery options might be able to improve their demand forecasting by understanding these findings.

Delivery can exceed $25/€19 based on the weight of the products and distance, therefore the healthy perks could bear a hefty price tag even if you are ordering less. 

Here is a list by the social media news blog Mashable of 50+ sites online to order your groceries (organic, ethnic, specialty, fresh) with delivery available in Australia, Canada, UK and the US: http://mashable.com/2008/06/05/online-grocery-shopping and more in the UK, Iceland plus Lidl http://www.somucheasier.co.uk/supermarkets-uk.html 

Another option might be to shop first virtually, print out your selections and then go to your local farmers market and stores to select the same products and avoid the ‘want' aisles to get the healthy perks without the delivery fees.

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