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Our objectives were to describe sociodemographic characteristics associated with the purchase of (1) any fruit drinks and (2) fruit drinks with specific front-of-package (FOP) nutrition claims.
We merged fruit drink purchasing data from 60 712 household-months from 5233 households with children 0–5 years participating in Nielsen Homescan in 2017 with nutrition claims data. We examined differences in predicted probabilities of purchasing any fruit drinks by race/ethnicity, income and education. We constructed inverse probability (IP) weights based on likelihood of purchasing any fruit drinks. We used IP-weighted multivariable logistic regression models to examine predicted probabilities of purchasing fruit drinks with specific FOP claims.
One-third of households with young children purchased any fruit drinks. Non-Hispanic (NH) Black (51·6 %), Hispanic (36·3 %), lower-income (39·3 %) and lower-educated households (40·9 %) were more likely to purchase any fruit drinks than NH White (31·3 %), higher-income (25·8 %) and higher-educated households (30·3 %) (all P < 0·001). In IP-weighted analyses, NH Black households were more likely to purchase fruit drinks with ‘Natural’ and fruit or fruit flavour claims (6·8 % and 3·7 %) than NH White households (4·5 % and 2·7 %) (both P < 0·01). Lower- and middle-income (15·0 % and 13·8 %) and lower- and middle-educated households (15·4 % and 14·5 %) were more likely to purchase fruit drinks with ‘100 % Vitamin C’ claims than higher-income (10·8 %) and higher-educated households (12·9 %) (all P < 0·025).
We found a higher likelihood of fruit drink purchases in lower-income, lower-educated, NH Black and Hispanic households. Experimental studies should determine if nutrition claims may be contributing to disparities in fruit drink consumption.
Naturalistic online grocery stores could provide a novel setting for evaluating nutrition interventions. In 2021–2022, we recruited US adults (n 144, 59% low-income) to complete two weekly study visits: one in a naturalistic (‘mock’) online grocery store developed for research and one in a real online grocery store. Participants selected groceries and responded to survey questions. Analyses examined survey responses and expenditures on fifteen food categories (e.g., bread, sugar-sweetened beverages). Nearly all enrolled participants completed both visits (98% retention). Moreover, nearly participants all reported that their selections in the naturalistic store were similar to their usual purchases (95%) and that the naturalistic store felt like a real store (92%). Participants’ spending on food categories in the naturalistic store were moderately-to-strongly correlated with their spending in the real store (range of correlation coefficients: 0⋅36–0⋅67, all P-values < 0⋅001). Naturalistic online grocery stores may offer a promising platform for conducting nutrition research.
This study aimed to identify correlates of nutrition label awareness and use, particularly subgroup differences among consumers. Two label types were assessed: (1) nutrition facts tables (NFt) in Australia, Canada, Mexico, UK, and USA and (2) front-of-package (FOP) labels, including mandatory Guideline Daily Amounts (Mexico), voluntary Health Star Ratings (Australia) and voluntary Traffic Lights (UK).
Respondents were recruited using Nielsen Consumer Insights Global Panel (n 21 586) and completed online surveys in November–December 2018. Linear regression and generalised linear mixed models examined differences in label use and awareness between countries and label type based on sociodemographic, knowledge-related and dietary characteristics.
Australia, Canada, Mexico, UK and USA.
Adults (≥18 years).
Respondents from the USA, Canada and Australia reported significantly higher NFt use and awareness than those in Mexico and the UK. Mexican respondents reported the highest level of FOP label awareness, whereas UK respondents reported the highest FOP label use. NFt use was higher among females, ‘minority’ ethnic groups, those with higher nutrition knowledge and respondents with ‘adequate literacy’ compared with those with ‘high likelihood of limited literacy’. FOP label use was higher among those with a ‘high likelihood of limited literacy’ compared with ‘adequate literacy’ across countries.
Lower use of mandatory Guideline Daily Amount labels compared with voluntary FOP labelling systems provides support for Mexico’s decision to switch to mandatory ‘high-in’ warning symbols. The patterns of consumer label use and awareness across sociodemographic and knowledge-related characteristics suggest that simple FOP labels may encourage broader use across countries.
To estimate the prevalence of online grocery shopping in a nationally representative sample and describe demographic correlates with online grocery shopping.
The Nielsen COVID-19 Shopper Behavior Survey was administered to a subset of Nielsen National Consumer Panel participants in July 2020. We used survey weighted-multivariable logistic regression to examine demographic correlates of having ever online grocery shopped.
18 598 Nielsen National Consumer Panel participants in the USA.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents had purchased groceries online, and among prior purchasers, 89 % indicated that they would continue to online grocery shop in the next month. Canned/packaged foods were the most shopped for grocery category online, followed by beverages, fresh foods and lastly frozen foods. In adjusted analyses, younger respondents (39 years or less) were more likely (47 %) to have ever shopped for groceries online than older age groups (40–54 years, 55–64 years and 65+ years) (29 %, 22 % and 23 %, respectively, all P < 0·001). Those with greater than a college degree were more likely to have ever grocery shopped online (45 %) than respondents with some college education (39 %) and with a high school education or less (32 %) (both P < 0·001). Having children, having a higher income and experiencing food insecurity, particularly among higher income food-insecure households, were also associated with a higher probability of prior online grocery shopping.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the transition to online grocery shopping. Future research should explore the nutrition implications of online grocery shopping.
Front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling is a globally recommended strategy to encourage healthier food choices. We evaluated the effect of FOP labels on the perceived healthfulness of a sweetened fruit drink in an international sample of adult consumers.
Six-arm randomised controlled experiment to examine the impact of FOP labels (no label control, Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA), Multiple Traffic Lights, the Health Star Ratings (HSR), Health Warning Labels, and ‘High-in’ Warning Labels (HIWL)) on the perceived healthfulness of the drink. Linear regression models by country examined healthfulness perceptions on FOP nutrition labels, testing for interactions by demographic characteristics.
Online survey in 2018 among participants from Australia, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom (UK) and United States.
Adults (≥18 years, n 22 140).
Compared with control, HIWL had the greatest impact in lowering perceived healthfulness (β from −0·62 to −1·71) across all countries. The HIWL and the HSR had a similar effect in Australia. Other labels were effective in decreasing the perceived healthfulness of the drink within some countries only, but to a lower extent. The GDA did not reduce perceived healthfulness in most countries. In the UK, the effect of HIWL differed by age group, with greater impact among older participants (> 40 years). There were no other variations across key demographic characteristics.
HIWL, which communicates clear, non-quantitative messages about high levels of nutrients of concern, demonstrated the greatest efficacy to decrease the perceived healthfulness of a sweetened fruit drink across countries. This effect was similar across demographic characteristics.
Toddler milk (i.e. a nutrient-fortified milk-based drink marketed for children 12–36 months old) is increasingly being marketed in the USA despite not being recommended for young children. There is evidence of targeted toddler milk marketing to Latinos in the USA. This study aimed to explore toddler milk perceptions and behaviours among Latino and non-Latino parents.
An online survey assessed toddler milk perceptions, behaviours and interpretations of nutrition-related claims. Multivariable logistic and linear regression explored socio-demographic correlates of parent reported past purchases and perceived healthfulness.
National convenience sample of 1078 US parents of children aged 2–12 years (48 % Latino).
About half of parents (51 %) had previously purchased toddler milk and few (11 %) perceived toddler milk as unhealthy. Latino parents were more likely to have purchased toddler milk than non-Latino parents (P < 0·001), but there were no differences in perceived product healthfulness (P = 0·47). Compared to parents born in the USA, parents living in the USA 10 years or less were more likely to have purchased toddler milk (P < 0·001) and perceive toddler milk as healthier (P = 0·002). Open-ended interpretations of claims were primarily positive, suggesting ‘health halo’ effects.
Common misperceptions about toddler milk healthfulness suggest stronger labelling regulations are needed. Greater reported purchases by Latino parents and recent immigrants warrant further investigation.
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