The interdisciplinary minor focuses on the creation of sustainable and innovative food concepts. It combines knowledge of food cultures, product design, consumer and sensory research, functional food science and food quality with social and economic science. You go into subjects like plant-based food, shortened supply chains, food waste, healthy lifestyle and you think about alternative ways of feeding 9 billion people by 2050.
It is a practice-based minor. You will be working in small project groups. Together with the knowledge you’ve gained, you and your group will use the Design Thinking Method and the Business Model Canvas to develop an integrated professional food product or concept for a sponsor in the Netherlands. This sponsor can be for instance a start-up in the food business, a health organisation, a social entrepreneur, or a local government.
In further development of the product or concept you make the product specification, a label, and the packaging design. You develop a plan for upscaling the product or concept by looking into the food safety and quality, you assess the financial feasibility of it, and you create a marketing communication plan for the introduction on the market.
In the first 10 weeks you’ll work together with your group on a ready to be produced prototype. By getting outside the building, you meet the promotors and potential customers trying to understand what problems they are looking to solve in food. In the Ideation phase you generate several ideas to solve the problem(s), make several prototypes and test them.
In week 10 your team-coach will give you and your group a go or no-go to further develop the food product or concept in the second part of this minor. In this period together with your group you will develop the product specification, label and packaging design.
Your main learning outcomes or goals in this minor are to:
- have knowledge about major trends and developments in the field of food and nutrition
- apply appropriate research methods for gathering consumer insights and test hypothesis about possible solutions
- design, develop and launch a sustainable and innovative food productor concept
- demonstrate knowledge about packaging, labels and food safety and quality
- assess the financial feasibility of a food product or concept
- develop an appropriate marketing communication plan
- to have effective presentation skills
To achieve these goals, you first get an introduction to the different theories, after which you and your group will apply this knowledge in the assignment for your sponsor. For your personal development you will work on 7 competencies: Food profession, Research skills, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Management, Communication and Collaboration. In your own portfolio you submit evidence (data points) and you reflect on your development on the competencies.
The lessons during this minor as well as the assessments are all in English. Together with your project group you work on the assignment for your sponsor. Besides this you work on your personal competencies and learning goals which will be assessed in an individual portfolio assessment.
The minor has an intensive start where you form groups, find promotors and coaches and in which you go from ideas to possible solutions. After the start you make a schedule with your group and your coach. You have plenty time to work on your project, your personal competencies, getting lessons, meet your coaches and you pitch your work regularly. You have to be available on a full-time basis, total study-effort averages 30 hours per week.
- Study book: approximate € 50
- Introduction week and local activities: approximate € 100
All other costs such as travel to sponsors and potential customers and ingredients for prototypes, are excluded.
- Developing a questionnaire, by B. Gillham
- Food safety for the 21st century, by Wallace Sperber, Mortimore, eBook
- Introducing Food Science, by R.L. Shewfelt 2016, 2nd edition
- Value Proposition Design, by A. Osterwalder, 2014
- Online Marketing, online available by Edumundo
- You study food science, human nutrition, and related fields.
- Because this minor is taught in English, it is important you have strong written and verbal English skills (equivalent to IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL IB 80 and European level B2).
- Basic knowledge in marketing. If not demonstrable, then successfully complete the online module (Edumundo e-book Marketing).
- Respect the application deadlines.
- If you are a student from a partner university, please contact the International Office of your home university since they can nominate you.