To explore how consumers perceive novel and familiar fruit, repertory grid interviews were carried out with 60 New Zealand women. Participants described their perceptions of nine fruit varying in familiarity. The data analysis established a two‐dimensional stimuli space that separated samples with respect to familiarity and the amount of preparation required. Fruit that was familiar was characterised as being well liked, easily available in shops and by a number of different use situations. The primary association with novel fruit was that it was expensive. The participants could not readily think of use situations for fruit they were unfamiliar with. Consumers were separated into groups according to the trait of food neophobia, which pertains to an individual's stable propensity to approach or avoid novel foods. When comparing the most neophobic (n = 14; avoids novel foods) and most neophilic (n = 14; approaches novel foods), individuals perceptual differences were uncovered pertaining to which of the fruit were considered novel and to the suitability of some usage situations (cooking and for children). This finding contributed to the growing evidence of the relationship between food neophobia and consumers' everyday food‐related behaviour. Copyright © 2004 Society of Chemical Industry
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2005
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