Food Consumer Research

Course content

An introduction to food consumer research as a scientific discipline that deals in a multi-disciplinary way with the understanding of the choices made by consumers. It builds up heavily on the knowledge of Food Choice and Acceptance (determinants of food intake) and on the Sociology of Food Consumption (qualitative research and questionaire formulation).

The importance of product cues will be presented. Students will be introduced to relevant 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. The role of students in supporting evidence based policy making will be underscored.

Quantitative methods include the design of consumer questionnaires and their application online, visual data analysis, instrumental measurements, etc. The course will include relevant qualitative methods for food innovation and their quality assessment. Students will apply descriptive statistics (use of means and standard deviation, percentages and confidence intervals), as well as the segmenting of consumers using cluster analysis and profiling clusters with logistic regression using R and R Studio. The course will focus on solving practical problems related to consumers using mixed methods approach.

At the end of the course, Students would have designed their own questionaire, thew would have carried out a consumer survey online, have analysed their data using the appropriate statistical methods, and have communicated written and orally their research results.


MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health

Learning outcome

After completion of the course the student should be able to:


  • Obtain knowledge about food consumer science, the existing consumer segments and the innovation potential generated by these segments
  • Reflect about different theories of food consumer behaviour
  • Describe the hedonic evaluation of foods
  • Understand and describe other qualitative data collection methods related to food consumer research
  • Obtain knowledge on the appropriate methods for consumer survey data analysis



  • Apply theories of consumer behaviour around food issues in the formulation, design and analysis of questionnaires.
  • Administer questionnaires using IT platforms.
  • Apply different theoretical perspectives for data collection and analysis.
  • Apply principles of experimental design and statistical evaluation of consumer information
  • Segment consumers using cluster analysis, and to profile clusters with logistic regression
  • Segment consumers by their socio-economic status, their attitudes, values, knowledge, hedonic responses to foods, liking of food products, etc.
  • Communicate research results in scientific writing.



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

See Absalon for a list of course literature.


It is recommended to have basic statistical knowledge.
It is recommended to have understanding of the determinants of food intake and food choices.
It is recommended to have an overview of qualitative data collection methods as well as their analysis.

For the data analysis in this course you need a laptop and download R and R Studio.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
The exam grade comprises of two parts: An oral examination in groups and an individual written exam. The oral exam is a group presentation of the challenge document followed by a debate with the examiners, where students are able to show command of the contents of the course (30%) and the individual written examination will be a multiple choice questionnaire (70%). Both parts must be passed in order for the student to pass the course.
All aids allowed

If the exam is held as ITX exam at Peter Bangs Vej, students are NOT allowed to bring computers, phones or tablets. USB-stick is allowed.


Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.
Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 72
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Project work
  • 60
  • Theory exercises
  • 20
  • Colloquia
  • 9
  • English
  • 206