Cooking or Clicking: The Impact of Online Food Delivery Platforms on Domestic Food Preparation
44 Pages Posted: 3 May 2021
Date Written: April 25, 2021
One of the most notable developments of the sharing economy is the unfettered proliferation of on-demand services. In this work, we examine how a subset of such platforms, online food delivery (e.g., Grubhub, UberEats, Doordash), has affected a particularly important household activity, meal preparation, and the dining behaviors of American households. To do so, we exploit the phased entry of the platform Grubhub into US counties from 2005 to 2019 using a difference in difference approach. Results indicate that the availability of an increasingly diversified delivery service leads to a significant reduction in time spent preparing meals within the home. Further, and alarmingly, we find that this impact is associated with an increase in the average BMI of affected persons, suggesting an unfavorable dietary shift from healthier home cooking to unhealthier food away from home consumption. We discuss implications for research, consumers, platforms, and public policymakers.
Keywords: Online Food Delivery, Cooking, Population Health, Food Sourcing, Grubhub, Nutrition, Difference in Difference
JEL Classification: I31,I18, R20, I12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation