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Virtual supermarket food shopping needs you

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Another 300 New Zealanders are being sought for a nation-wide study on food prices using novel online virtual supermarket software.

The study, called ‘Price ExaM,’ is about supermarket food purchases and how food prices affect what people buy and is led by the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland (in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Otago).
“Already 700 adults living in New Zealand are taking part in the Price ExaM study and we have only 300 spaces left,” says study leader, Dr Wilma Waterlander from the University of Auckland.

“This is the first large randomised trial using the Virtual Supermarket software,” she says. “Any adult (18 and over) can take part, as long as they have access to a computer and the internet, have an email address, do regular grocery shopping and no one else in their household is taking part.”

The study is being conducted online making it easy for New Zealanders to participate.

Participants are asked to complete five weekly household shops in the Virtual Supermarket and answer some questionnaires. Participants who complete the study will receive $40 in MTA (petrol and service station) vouchers and go into a draw to win a $100 voucher for each shop that they complete.

“This is a landmark study” says Dr Waterlander. “It is the first time that we will have so many people conducting multiple shops in our Virtual Supermarket.”

“This approach is highly novel internationally and will provide us with unique insights on the importance of food prices during supermarket shopping.”

The Virtual Supermarket is an innovative software tool developed by Dr Waterlander and her team at the University.

Study participants can navigate the Virtual Supermarket with a shopping trolley, just like a real supermarket. The researchers track the foods people buy under different circumstances.
The Virtual Supermarket was validated against real supermarket shops and has proved to be a valid tool to measure shopping behaviour.

Participants can register for this new Virtual Supermarket study now via this link https://diet.auckland.ac.nz/content/price-exam or check out the Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/priceexam/

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