Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition
Objectives : To inform policy proposals to allow online grocery shopping with SNAP benefits by examining relevant behaviors, knowledge and attitudes of SNAP recipients.
Methods : This qualitative study used a purposive recruitment strategy to conduct four one-hour focus groups with three to six participants each from March through May 2018 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Participants were SNAP recipients with children who do the shopping for their family. Focus groups were video and audio recorded, transcribed, and coded, with coding cross-checked by coders to establish reliability.
Results : Few participants had shopped for groceries online although all were familiar with online shopping more generally. Participants were generally uninterested in grocery shopping online themselves but considered it could have value for the elderly or disabled. Identified barriers were cost, quality control for produce and perishable foods in particular, and distrust of the overall process. Participants suggested services such as a shopping list builder, filters for dietary restrictions, or healthy recipe ideas to increase interest in online grocery shopping.
Conclusions : SNAP recipients in this study have not adopted online grocery shopping for various reasons. Additional research could inform policy by investigating which participants would benefit from using SNAP benefits online and what strategies would encourage healthful food purchases.
Funding Sources : This research was not supported by any funding.