Consumer Perceptions of Online Produce Purchases


  • Carson Ian Ostrum College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Adam Watson Assistant Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida



Online grocery shopping, fresh produce, consumer perceptions and behaviors, grocery shopping preferences, COVID-19


In the Spring of 2021, a survey of college students’ perceptions and behaviors regarding grocery shopping methods, including online purchases of fresh produce, in the post-response to COVID-19 was conducted. The purpose of this research was to analyze the perceptions of online grocery shopping and identify specific factors that significantly influenced the grocery shopping experience. A sample of 203 responses was collected from undergraduate and graduate students within the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Florida. Participants perceived in-store grocery shopping as superior in terms of product quality, shopping experience, store loyalty, and hygiene while convenience was perceived as an advantage with online grocery shopping. Participants identified product quality and greater transparency regarding food handling as important concerns and factors when purchasing fresh produce online. Although COVID-19 pandemic caused students to explore various online grocery services, it had limited effect on their purchasing of fresh produce. The implications for this study are far reaching, applicable to industry retailers interested in consumer willingness to pay for online grocery options and in identifying value-adding services that would increase consumer participation. This study also provides baseline data useful to researchers interested in consumer behavior, acceptance, and food marketing.


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Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education