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Self-monitoring of online food purchases: developing the betterbasket web applicAtion

BetterBasket is a web browser extension that operates whenever a user visits Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Ocado, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s online supermarket and provides an augmented shopping experience. In addition to the usual functionalities of the website BetterBasket provides traffic light food labelling for all products, a running tally of the nutritional quality of foods added to the basket and a summary of the nutritional quality of the basket at the checkout. Users can also save their shopping data to an associated website for self-monitoring. The BetterBasket browser extension provides the platform for multiple interventions within an online supermarket setting, as well as a mechanism for remotely measuring food purchases of study participants.

We are now recruiting people to help develop the BetterBasket web application (Ethics Approval Reference: R52473/RE001). Further information can be found in the Participant Information Sheet (pdf) 

If you are interested in participating in the study, please complete the eligibility survey and we will be in touch with you.

In collaboration with Paul Aveyard and Lucy Yardley, behaviour change experts at Oxford and Bristol Universities, and the digital agency Global Initiative, we are developing the BetterBasket app, a digital behaviour change tool to help people to improve the healthiness of their online supermarket shopping. The app will be developed for use on desktop and laptop computers, tablets and smartphones. 

Whilst the existing BetterBasket browser extension software provides point-of-purchase cues to help users monitor the nutritional quality of their online food purchasing, self-monitoring has been shown to be effective at changing dietary behaviour. This new BetterBasket web-app will enable users to access data on their previous online shopping by logging into their account, allowing them to monitor and further explore this data. The web-app will also deliver other behaviour change techniques, such as goal setting, provision of information, reminders, etc.

To ensure that the BetterBasket web-app is as effective as possible, we will follow established behaviour change theories, be led by the evidence collected from other successful dietary change interventions, and collect data on user experiences with the app. At the end of the project we will submit applications for a randomised trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the web-app.

Funder: Medical Research Council Public Health Intervention Development Scheme
Project dates: Jan 2018 – May 2020

Researchers