Hunger for home delivery: Cross-sectional analysis of the nutritional quality of complete menus on an online food delivery platform in Australia

Celina Wang, Andriana Korai, Si Si Jia, Margaret Allman-Farinelli, Virginia Chan, Rajshri Roy, Rebecca Raeside, Philayrath Phongsavan, Julie Redfern, Alice A Gibson, Stephanie R Partridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Online food delivery (OFD) platforms have changed how consumers purchase food prepared outside of home by capitalising on convenience and smartphone technology. Independent food outlets encompass a substantial proportion of partnering outlets, but their offerings’ nutritional quality is understudied. Little is also known as to how OFD platforms influence consumer choice. This study evaluated the nutritional quality and marketing attributes of offerings from independent takeaway outlets available on Sydney’s market-leading OFD platform (UberEats®). Complete menus and marketing attributes from 202 popular outlets were collected using web scraping. All 13841 menu items were classified into 38 food and beverage categories based on the Australian Dietary Guide-lines. Of complete menus, 80.5% (11,139/13,841) were discretionary and 42.3% (5849/13,841) were discretionary cereal-based mixed meals, the largest of the 38 categories. Discretionary menu items were more likely to be categorised as most popular (OR: 2.5, 95% CI 1.9–3.2), accompanied by an image (OR: 1.3, 95% CI 1.2–1.5) and offered as a value bundle (OR: 6.5, 95% CI 4.8–8.9). Two of the three discretionary food categories were more expensive than their healthier Five Food Group counterparts (p < 0.02). The ubiquity of discretionary choices offered by independent takeaways and the marketing attributes employed by OFD platforms has implications for public health policy. Further research on the contribution of discretionary choices and marketing attributes to nutritional intakes is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number905
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

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