Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to segment Taiwanese consumers based on their trust in the food supply system and to demographically characterize each segment so as to aid the actors and institutions involved in the food supply system in formulating
more effective communication strategies for different segments and to assist the consumers in increasing their trust in food safety. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A total of 592 useful responses were elicited as the data input for cluster analysis, repeated measures
ANOVA tests, and chi-square tests. Findings ‐ Cluster analysis reveals that the 592 respondents in Taiwan can be segmented into three clusters: consumers who are pessimistic, neutral, or optimistic about food safety. Moreover, the repeated measures ANOVA tests for
each segment disclose that among the food supply system the foods imported from abroad are perceived by the three clusters to be the least, while the government responsible for food safety inspection and checking the most, trustworthy. The chi-square test results reveal that the pessimistic
consumers seem to be composed of a higher percentage of respondents whose level of education and amount of monthly income are below average. Practical implications ‐ For food safety a government agency, TFDA, has been set up to be in charge of the task of monitoring
conscientiously all of the players in the food supply chain, including the importation system. Originality/value ‐ This is the first study to segment Taiwanese consumers based on their trust in the food supply system. Based on the findings, suggestions are provided
to benefit the actors and institutions involved in the food supply system in Taiwan.