Data Science Applications for Food and Consumer Science


About this course

Data on food and consumer behavior are complex in nature due to an interplay between product characteristics (e.g., nutritional properties, food quality attributes, labeling, packaging), consumer characteristics (e.g., dietary restrictions, knowledge, lifestyle), and varying contexts and situations (up to and including weather conditions). To be able to gain a better understanding of these complex phenomena an interdisciplinary data science perspective is required. In this course, a deeper knowledge will be gained regarding the application of data science methods and techniques in the domain of food and consumer science. Students will work on cases from the food and consumer science domain and thereby apply their data science skills and learn more about such applications in the domain of food and consumer behavior. Research questions and queries need to be defined to the food and consumer behavior. Data sets related to food composition, recipes, food pictures, purchase data, search behavior data, store layout, and promotion data, etc. Data will be cleaned, processed, explored, visualized, and used to develop prediction models. The results will be presented in a poster presentation. Special attention is given to communication to the domain experts, by means of a workshop on visualization and storytelling with data. In addition, the internal and external validity of the data that is analyzed will be discussed in detail with the domain experts. Next to the case study, students will read and discuss selected scientific papers. In this discussion, special attention will go to the validity and interpretation of food and consumer data, and to the additional value of applying data science techniques to the traditional methods of data analyses that are currently used in this domain.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Choose and appraise relevant research questions in the domain of food and consumer science
  • Appraise the potential of data science techniques to address those questions
  • Apply a complete data science cycle
  • Discuss, evaluate, visualize and communicate the results of these analyses with peers and domain experts
  • Gain insight into how the domain context and the requirements of the end user or client affect the application of data science techniques
  • Critically appraise scientific papers with applications of data science in the food and consumer data domain

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
Basic programming R and/or Python, data wrangling, basics of making visualizations, basic statistical skills, clustering methods, prediction models
(INF34306 Data Science Concepts, HNH37006 Data Science for Health: Principles and MAT32806 Statistics for Data Scientists)

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    10 February 2025

    • Ends
      7 March 2025
    • Term *
      Period 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 12 Jan 2025
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University