Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to further current understanding of the relationship between consumption attitudes and new product adoption and how the relationship may be contingent upon consumers' other characteristics. Design/methodology/approach - Following a contingency framework, five consumption attitudes derived from Schwartz's value systems framework were examined, along with demographic variables, for their associations with consumer new product adoption (NPA). Negative binominal regression models were estimated using syndicated data from a large urban Chinese consumer sample to test the main and interactive effect hypotheses. Findings - Consumption attitudes have significant effects on NPA. Consumers' adoption of market innovations is associated negatively with their attitude toward existing products and positively with independent decision making and preference for high-tech products. Further, the magnitude of the effects of consumption attitudes depends on consumers' demographic characteristics. The effects are stronger among consumers who are older and have lower income. Originality/value - Using syndicated data from a large random sample of urban Chinese consumers, this study offers a deeper understanding of the attitudinal and personal antecedents of consumer new product adoption. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.