Food and Meal 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 food choices made by consumers. Focus will be on presenting general and current food consumer research highlighting the importance of product cues (healthiness, sustainability and ethics) for consumer’s choices. Further, the course will introduce examples of consumer driven food innovation using relevant consumer methodologies.

An introduction to consumer perception and evaluation of foods and meals will be given. Drawing on relevant theories of food choice, the students will practically implement them in food consumer research. At the end of the course, students would have designed and conducted their own consumer research based on the course curriculum. More specifically, the students will design and carry out a consumer survey, analyse their data using the appropriate statistical methods and software (R/R Studio). The research will be communicated written and orally.


MSc Programme in Integrated Food Studies

MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health

MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology

Learning outcome

After the completion of the course the student will have acquired the following knowledge, skills and competences


  • Understand and describe food consumer science
  • 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 making.



  • Apply relevant consumer behaviour theories around food issues in the formulation, design of questionnaires and in planning data analysis
  • Design consumer research taking in to account GDPR, sustainablity, health and ethical considerations
  • Administer questionnaires and collect consumer data using IT platforms
  • Apply principles of experimental design and statistical evaluation of consumer information
  • Conduct consumer evaluation of foods and meals
  • Identify consumer segments by e.g. their socio-economic status, their attitudes, values, knowledge, hedonic responses to foods, liking of food products, etc.
  • Use consumer research to support marketing strategies in food companies
  • Communicate research results in scientific writing.



  • Provide evidence-based advice to the food sector, the public sector and the societal actors regarding the relevant consumer segments
  • Study consumer behaviour in relation to food and meals, taking into account individual characteristics
  • Reflect scientifically on consumer issues (e.g. health, sustainability, ethics)
  • Handle data following national and international ethical and GDPR standards
  • Collaborate and contribute effectively in group work.

The course with consists of lectures, exercises and group work.
Lectures are designed to encourage participation and support active student learning giving relevant examples of consumer research. 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 knowledge about sociology of food and eating, and introduction to social science methods.
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.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral exam on basis of previous submission, 20 minutes
Type of assessment details
The exam is conducted within both the report produced by the students (submisssion in groups) and the curriculum.
No preparation time and no aids allowed, but the student can bring a paper version of the project report to the oral exam.
If the report is not submitted during the course, the student(s) cannot take the oral exam.
Exam registration requirements

Oral presentation and submission of the course challenge document/report.

Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

Same as ordinary.

If the report was not submitted during the course, it must be submitted at least two weeks before the re-examination.

Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 74
  • Exercises
  • 20
  • E-Learning
  • 2
  • Project work
  • 62
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Exam
  • 2
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
No limitation
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Food, Human Nutrition and Sports
Contracting department
  • Department of Food Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Helene Christine Reinbach   (15-6c69706972693276696d726665676c446a737368326f7932686f)
  • Bodil Helene Allesen-Holm   (4-676d666d456b74746933707a336970)
  • Qian Janice Wang   (3-756e7b446a737368326f7932686f)
    (Course coordinator)
Saved on the 30-10-2023

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