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 and sustainability) for consumer’s choices as well as cutting-edge developments in consumer research methodologies. Further, the course will introduce examples of consumer driven food innovation in acadmia and industry.

Drawing on relevant theories of food choice, the students will practically implement them in food consumer research. At the end of the course, students will have designed and conducted their own consumer research based on the course curriculum. More specifically, the students will design and carry out consumer data collection, analyse their data using the appropriate statistical methods and software (R/R Studio), and write up the results as a research report 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 consumer science
  • Understand and explain the design, testing and implementation of a questionnaire based consumer survey
  • Understand how consumer research can be used to support marketing strategies in food companies.



  • 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 and ethical considerations on topics related to sustainability and/or health.
  • Administer questionnaires and collect consumer data using online software platforms
  • Apply principles of experimental design and statistical evaluation of consumer information
  • Identify consumer segments by e.g. their socio-economic status, their attitudes, values, knowledge, hedonic responses to foods, liking of food products, etc.
  • Identify and carry out the appropriate methods for consumer survey data analysis (descriptive and inferential statistics)
  • 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)
  • Handle data following national and international ethical and GDPR standards
  • Collaborate and contribute effectively in group work.

The course 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 competencies 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.
In order to acces the oral exam the submission (group report) must be submitted.

Both parts must be passed in order for the student to pass the course.
Exam registration requirements

In-class oral presentation and submission of the course challenge 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
  • 57
  • Exercises
  • 25
  • E-Learning
  • 2
  • Project work
  • 75
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Exam
  • 1
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
No limitation – unless you register in the late-registration period (BSc and MSc) or as a credit or single subject student.
Study Board of Food, Human Nutrition and Sports
Contracting department
  • Department of Food Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Qian Janice Wang   (3-77707d466c75756a34717b346a71)
    Main responsible
  • Helene Christine Reinbach   (15-706d746d766d367a6d71766a696b70486e77776c36737d366c73)
  • Bodil Helene Allesen-Holm   (4-696f686f476d76766b35727c356b72)
    Course coordinator
Saved on the 19-02-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students