Online Grocery Shopping Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Among SNAP Participants

J Nutr Educ Behav. 2020 May;52(5):539-545. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2019.11.015. Epub 2019 Dec 20.


Objective: To inform policy proposals to allow online grocery shopping with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by examining relevant behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes of SNAP recipients.

Methods: This qualitative study used a purposive recruitment strategy to conduct 4 1-hour focus groups in Las Cruces, NM. Participants were SNAP recipients who do the grocery shopping for their families. Focus groups were video and audio recorded, transcribed, and coded.

Results: Few participants had shopped for groceries online, and participants were generally uninterested in grocery shopping online. Identified barriers were cost, quality control for perishable foods in particular, and distrust of the overall process. Participants expressed interest in suggested services aimed at increasing the benefits of shopping online.

Conclusions and implications: 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 strategies for facilitating use.

Keywords: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; consumer behavior; focus groups; nutrition policy; qualitative research.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Food Assistance*
  • Health Behavior / physiology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Young Adult