Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Giese, Willis E.

Degree Name

M.S.B.A. (Master of Science in Business Administration)

Legacy Department

Department of Management


Electronic data processing--Nutrition; Electronic data processing--Grocery trade


The hypothesis tested in this paper was that an in-store computerized food shopping program could supply valuable consumer nutrition information effectively. This consumerism program could be an effective management tool for food retailers to help solve their current problems of being competitive, increasing their profit margin, and serving the consumer. During April, 1973, Computerized Food Shopping, a pilot educational program, took place in the four Piggly Wiggly Supermarkets in Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota. The co-sponsors were University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension Service, North Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service and College of Home Economics, Concordia College, Moorhead State College, Nash Finch Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota and Piggly Wiggly Supermarkets. The objectives were: 1. Consumers will become aware of the foods needed for an adequate diet. 2. Consumers will see how they are spending their food dollar. 3. Home economists and home economics students will experience the use of the computer in nutrition education. 4. Individuals from the cooperating agencies will test the effectiveness of computer assisted food shopping at the point of purchase. These objectives were measured by in-store comment collection and participant and cooperating agency evaluations. Person-to-person, mail, and telephone questionnaires were used to collect the resulting data. The extent to which the objectives achieved varied. Some consumers reported using and referring back to the information pertaining to number of servings needed per week. They indicated the program did help them become more aware of how they used their food dollar including the variation based upon cost per serving and the amount spent for non-food items. The majority of the participants who assisted with the evaluation indicated that they liked the approach and would find it useful to themselves and others in the future. Test store operational statistics including: store sales, customer count, sales per man-hour, payroll percentage, and sales per customer were evaluated along with customer participant and city resident demographics to help determine whether Computerized Food Shopping was an effective consumer management program. As a result of participating in Computerized Food Shopping, over 350 consumers became more aware of the nutritional adequacy of their shopping lists and, also, became more aware of the way in which they spent their food dollar.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 202 pages




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