The following principles are used :

  1. Within the consortium it is preferred to select a few topics and methods of interest, which means that less topics in more detail will be considered.
  2. Learning by doing is one of the concepts of Focus Balkans, therefore the topics mentioned for the cases and the methodology which will be applied in the different work packages have to be be part of the training.
  3. If possible approaches of theory, method and application will be combined.


The training consists of the four cases which are studied within Focus Balkans, food consumer science theories, the methods used, and novel interesting topics.

In the following paragraphs the different parts will be explained.





Focus Balkans considers the following cases:

  •          Fruit and nutrition balance;
  •          Products with health claim;
  •          Organic products;
  •          Traditional foods.

In the lectures on each case the following issues will be addressed:

  • Short history of the topic of the case in Balkan, European or even wider perspective, in terms of consumption and consumer behaviour, if possible also expected trends are included
  • By means of relevant publications, e.g. papers in scientific journals theories and methods related to the case will be discussed:   

                  - Gives insight in relevant food consumer science theories and it’s applications

              - Gives insight in relevant methods and it’s applications

              - For example in the case of fruit and nutrition balance, the application of the  theory of planned behaviour and the advantages and disadvantages of the  Food Frequency Questionnaire will be studied and discussed.


  • If possible it might interesting to include a training in which will be reflected on the results of the Work packages.



Theory of food consumer science

Theories of food related behaviour from the perspective of various disciplines e.g. psychology, sociology, social psychology, economics, and socio-cultural will be part of the training.

In general the theories will be discussed in combination with the cases. Relevant publications will be selected, of which the theories will be explained and a practical application will be shown.

If needed there will be space to study a few specific theories which might be of interest.



Top current methods

To become familiar with the stepwise approach in food consumer science a lecture will be dedicated to how to plan a research and how to deal with consumers’ interpretation of terms and develop a measurement instrument in theory driven research. Besides that approaches and applications of qualitative as well as quantitative methods will be studied.


Qualitative methods

In different Work packages In dept interview, Focus group discussion and Delphi method will be applied. Therefore lectures will be organized related to the background, theory, data gathering and data analyzing.


Quantitative methods

To analyze the data from quantitative research, some basics about scales, sources averages and relations between those will be part of the training. Besides also multivariate methods like conjoint and cluster analysis are part of the training.



Topics of interest:

  • Sensory research, development of food preferences, methods to evaluate food;
  • Public health – Obesity;
  • New product development - Segmentations of consumers;
  • Transition in the perspective of various disciplines – proposal is that of each country an expert will be invited e.g. sociologist, trendwatcher, political, from universities, government or companies;
  • Consumers’ perception of novel technologies (GMO, nutrigenomics);
  • Lifestyle;
  • Chain;
  • Quality  in terms of models or approaches useful in production of food or product development.

If possible those topics will be also discussed by  means of relevant publications theories and methods.



Schedule of the training







Month 4

February 2009




Food related behaviour


Qualitative research, Focus groups and in-dept interviews

(LEI-WUR Cees de Graaf)

 (GEM, Ecozept, Enita-C, LEI-WUR, SMMRI, PARMA)



Month 8


June 2009



Research approach




Fruit and nutrition balance


Planning research -Development of a measurement instrument


Data analyzing qualitative research (focus groups)




Transition (WBC)

LEI-WUR assisted by other members

LEI-WUR Ivo van der Lans


choice to be made for GEM, Ecozept, Enita-C, LEI-WUR, SMMRI, PARMA UNEW




Month 12


September 2009





Product with health claim


Public health – Obesity



BEL assisted consortium members

LEI-WUR Cees de Graaf




Month 16


February 2010





Method and topic

Organic products


Cluster analysis - New product development and segmentation



ZAG assisted by other members

LEI-WUR Ivo van der Lans







April 2010




Traditional foods


Conjoint analysis



ENITA-C assisted by other members

LEI-WUR Ivo van der Lans





Month 22


July 2010




Evaluation results of cases


Sensory research




LEI-WUR Cees de Graaf