Food Technology Neophobia Scale

By July 21st, 2009


Consumers’ fears of novel food technologies are well documented. Some technologies under development raise considerable controversies in public opinion.

The ability to identify population segments that have more or less neophobia, thus enabling identification of early adopters of innovative products, could be useful, particularly when some novel technologies could facilitate health benefits.

Cox & Evans (2008)1 developed and validated a psychometric scale that measures Novel Food Technology Neophobia.

The final 13 item scale was developed from studies on almost one thousand Australian consumers. It was later tested (Evans 20092, Kermarrec, Sable, Cox, 20093) and found to be stable over time.

Questionnaire responses to willingness to try foods produced by novel technologies negatively correlate with the scale.

The scale comprises of 13 items to which participants are asked to agree or disagree with using a seven-point bi-polar scale anchored ‘totally disagree’ to ‘totally agree’, with a labelled mid-point of ‘neither agree nor disagree’.

Higher scores indicate greater neophobia. Items 10, 11, 12, and 13 need to be reverse scored.


  1. Cox DN, Evans G. 2008. Construction and validation of a psychometric scale to measure consumers’ fears of novel food technologies: the Food Technology Neophobia Scale. Food Quality & Preference. 19:704–710.
  2. Evans G, Kermarrec C, Sable T, Cox DN. 2009. Reliability and predictive validity of the Food Technology Neophobia Scale. Appetite 54(2): 390-393.
  3. Cox DN, Evans G, Kermarrec C, Sable T. 2009. Stability, reliability and predictive validity of the Food Technology Neophobia Scale. 8th Pangborn Symposium, Florence, July 2009.