Food retailing is undergoing a fundamental transformation. Digital on-demand technology is dramatically reshaping food distribution and delivery, making food and prepared meals more accessible and convenient. However, the impact of the increasing use of these services on what foods and beverages people purchase is unknown. This study aims to reuse and extend secondary data from an existing SPHR-funded project (The TfL HFSS Study) to explore who uses digital food delivery services and the impact on inequalities in food purchasing behaviours.
This 12 month project will (i) investigate whether frequency of use of digital food delivery services (both grocery and take-away) is associated with household take home purchases of total nutrients (e.g. total energy), share of total nutrients from different food groups (e.g energy) and place of purchase of those nutrients (ii) to understand whether changes over time in the use of digital services is associated with changes in household purchase patterns of these nutrients and (iii) to examine if there are inequalities in environmental exposure to digital food delivery services and whether this is associated with types of takeaway meals purchased
We will use secondary consumer data from Kantar WorldPanel, a nationally representative panel study of all take-home and out-of-home household food and beverage purchasing linked to existing survey data from The TfL HFSS Study. Household food and beverage purchase data (time-series) and online survey data on use of digital food services (longitudinal) will be available for London and the North of England (n=1559) from February 2019 and March 2020. Follow-up data (March 2020) will be linked and enriched with further environmental data on local residential exposure to takeaway food businesses providing foods and beverages through digital services. These data have been previously obtained from automated web-scraping and collation from the three major digital food delivery companies.