Food Consumer Research

Course content

An introduction to food consumer research as a scientific discipline that deals in a multi-disciplinary way with the determinants of consumers' food choices, such as sensory aspects of food, culture, health & nutrition, prices, food-related attitudes, knowledge, values and beliefs.

The importance of product cues will be presented. Students will be introduced to the theories of food choice, including the dual process (reasoned vs automatic) in decision making, and how to practically implement them in food consumer research. Study design for quantitative and qualitative data collection methods will be presented.

Quantitative methods include the design of questionnaires and their application online, visual data analysis, instrumental measurements, etc. Qualitative methods refer to focus groups, delphi, in-depth interviews, life story, etc. Appropriate analysis methods will be given for each of the methods, such as statistics and text analysis. The course will focus on solving practical problems related to consumers using mixed methods approach.


MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health

Learning outcome

The course aims at teaching the students the basic principles of food consumer research.


  • Students will understand the main determinants of food consumption and their interrelation
  • Students will acquire knowledge of the different theories of food consumer behaviour
  • Students will obtain knowledge of food-related qualitative and quantitative data collection methods
  • Students will gain knowledge on the appropriate methods for data analysis (quantitative and qualitative)



  • Students will be able to understand and apply theories of consumer behaviour around food issues.
  • Students will be able to design multidisciplinary questionnaires and using IT for administration
  • Students will be able to apply different theoretical perspectives for data collection and analysis
  • Students will be able to apply principles of experimental design and statistical evaluation of consumer information
  • Students will be able to segment consumers by their socio-economic status, their attitudes, values, knowledge, hedonic responses to foods, liking of food products, etc.



  • Students will be able to provide evidence based advice to the industry, the public sector and the societal actors regarding the relevant consumer segments
  • Students will be able to study consumer behaviour in relation to food taking into account individual characteristics.
  • Students will be able to handle data following the ethical standards of Denmark and Europe
  • Students should be able to collaborate and contribute effectively in team work

Lectures, practical exercises and group work. Theoretical concepts and methods are taught in lectures. Examples of hypothetical consumer or sensory problems are worked out in exercises during lecture time. Examples of applications of food consumer research are illustrated with recent scientific papers. Problem-based group work will enable students to apply and/or to reflect on the course’s theories and methods in a practical challenge.

See Absalon for specific course literature.

For the data analysis in this course you need a laptop with Windows based operating system.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
Multiple choice questionnaire.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner.
Criteria for exam assessment

Cf. Learning Outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 50
  • Preparation
  • 68
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Project work
  • 50
  • Theory exercises
  • 30
  • Colloquia
  • 6
  • English
  • 206