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Consumer behaviour, food choice and sustainable food consumption

FÖ0468 Consumer behaviour, food choice and sustainable food consumption, 15.0 Credits

Consumer behaviour, food choice and sustainable food consumption

Syllabus approved



Business Administration Food science

Education cycle

Second cycle

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, other second-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1F)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

15 credits in Business Administration at second-cycle level. The applicant must further have a level of English equivalent to upper secondary school English, called English 6.


The aim of the course is to provide students with deeper knowledge of consumer behaviour, consumer food choices and food culture, and experiences of food. The course also aims to provide insights into research methods for use in consumer studies and market research, including both qualitative and quantitative methods for sensory analyses.
On completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Describe, explain and apply theories of consumer behaviour, choices and experienced quality of food.
- Relate sustainable food consumption to existing theories and models, and demonstrate the ability to develop solutions (for example through product design, communication or nudging) for achieving sustainable food consumption.
- Understand, describe and apply different market research tools and research methods of both a qualitative and quantitative nature, as well as methods for sensory analysis.
- Identify and address ethical and legal perspectives on market research and food.
- Demonstrate the ability to plan and conduct all stages of a consumer study (planning, execution, analysis, presentation and evaluation).
- Understand how new consumer behaviours influence the value chain for food and interactions, based on a sustainability perspective.
- Based on learnings from the course, discuss and relate the global sustainability goals and the concepts of the circular economy and the biobased economy.


The course comprises lectures, seminars, exercises, workshops and project work.

The course covers in-depth theory in different thematic directions (consumer behaviour, quality experiences, learning, motivation, values and drivers in consumer choices and behaviours. A specific theme is consumer studies of both a qualitative and quantitative nature, including methods for sensory analyses.
The course maintains a sustainability perspective throughout, including assessment of how new consumer behaviours and sustainable consumption influence the actors in the value chain for food and how interactions in this chain can be altered, for example through new distribution channels, communication methods, processes for shared value creation and new pathways for encounters between producers and consumers.

Formats and requirements for examination

To obtain a pass grade, students must:
- Participate in compulsory components of the course (seminars, workshops, presentations, supervisions and examination events)
- Attend and achieve a pass grade in all examinations, in the form of presentations and course assignments such as reports, reflections and essays.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Additional information

The student should have read 30hp at the second-cycle level, namely: "Project management for innovation in sustainable food systems" and "Management perspectives for sustainable food systems".
The course is conducted with the possibility of distance education at SLU’s campus. The course is held by the Department of Work Science, Economics and Environmental Psychology and uses dedicated teaching rooms for campus-wide teaching.

Responsible department

Department of People and Society

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course
1) Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being - A European Perspective
Author: Solomon, M et al.
ISBN: 9781292245423
Comments: Note. Other editions of this book may also work fine.
2) The psychology of food choice (available as CABI e-book, through SLU library)
Author: Shepherd & Raats (ed:s)
Comments: You don't need to purchase this book. This book is available as e-book through the SLU library. Note that you must be logged in to the SLU network, either at the Campus network or through VPN
3) Predictably irrational
Author: Dan Ariely
ISBN: 978-0-06-201820-5
Comments: This is a popular book making you reflect on predictably irrational choices. You can find it at a low price at most online book stores (below SEK 100)
4) Nudge - Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness
Author: Thaler, R.T. and Sunstein, C.R.
ISBN: 9780141040011, 9780300122237... and other editions
Comments: This is a popular book introducing the concept of nudging. You can find cheap copies (around SEK 100.-) at most online book stores.

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: No The course is offered as a programme course: Sustainable Food Systems – Master´s Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 26165 SEK Cycle: Second cycle
Subject: Business Administration Food science
Course code: FÖ0468 Application code: SLU-40139 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of People and Society Pace: 100%