Food Consumer Research
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 Determinants of Food Consumption.
The importance of product cues will be presented. Students will apply 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. The course will address solving practical problems related to consumers using mixed methods approach.
At the end of the course, students would have designed their own questionaire, they would have carried out a consumer survey online (annonymous data collection), have analysed their data using the appropriate statistical methods and software (R/R Studio), and have communicated written and orally their research results. Students will use the following statistical methods: descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation, percentages and confidence intervals); segmenting of consumers using cluster analysis and profiling clusters with logistic regression.
MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health
MSc Programme in Human Nutrition
After the completion of the course the student will have acquired the following knowledge, skills and competences
- Understand and describe food consumer science, different theories of food consumer behaviour and existing consumer segments
- Reflect scientifically on consumer issues (e.g. health, sustainability, ethics) and their drive towards innovative food supply
- Explain the role of food and nutrition policy in food-related consumer decision making
- Understand and describe food consumer research data collection methods (e.g. quantitative, qualitative and visual)
- Understand and explain the design, testing and implementation of a questionnaire based consumer survey
- Indicate the appropriate methods for consumer survey data analysis (descriptive and inferential statistics)
- Understand the role of food marketing on consumer decision
- Able to apply theories of consumer behaviour around food issues in the formulation, design and analysis of questionnaires
- Able to design consumer research taking in to account GDPR, sustainablity, health and ethical considerations
- Able to administer questionnaires and collect consumer data using IT platforms
- Able to apply principles of experimental design and statistical evaluation of consumer information
- Able to profile consumer segments by e.g. their socio-economic status, their attitudes, values, knowledge, hedonic responses to foods, liking of food products, etc.
- Able to use consumer research to support marketing strategies in food companies
- 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 national and international ethical and GDPR standards
- Students should be able to collaborate and contribute effectively in group work.
The course with consists of lectures given by researchers
working within the overlapping field of consumer sciences,
exercises and group work.
Lectures are designed to encourage participation and support active student learning. Theoretical concepts and methods are taught in the lectures, and examples of food consumer research will be illustrated with most recent peer-reviewed publications. Problem-based learning approach will be implemented to enable students to apply the knowledge, skills and competences of the course in solving a specific practical challenge.
See Absalon for a list of course literature.
It is recommended to have basic statistical knowledge and to be
acquainted with R software.
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.
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
For the data analysis in this course you need a laptop and
download R and R Studio.
This course shares 80% of the lectures and 100% of the practical work with Meal Consumer Research.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilationWritten assignment, during the course
- Type of assessment details
- The exam grade comprises of two parts, a challenge
document/report and an individual written exam.
The challenge document/report in groups with clear indication of each student's individual contribution (30% of the grade).
The individual written examination, which will be a multiple choice questionnaire (70% of the grade).
Both parts must be passed in order for the student to pass the course.
- All aids 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)
- Project work
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
- Block 4
- No limitation
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
- Study Board of Food, Human Nutrition and Sports
- Department of Food Science
- Department of Food and Resource Economics
- Faculty of Science
- Bodil Helene Allesen-Holm
- Helene Christine Reinbach (15-747178717a713a7e71757a6e6d6f744c727b7b703a77813a7077)
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