Seeking opportunities in an expanding Mexican marketplace for U.S. pork products, Smithfield Foods was an exhibitor at Expo ANTAD on March 10-12.

Expo ANTAD is an annual convention for Mexico’s retail industry held in Guadalajara Mexico.

Although Smithfield offers more than 1,000 stock-keeping units, products destined for retail shelves in Mexico currently are only processed rather than fresh products, said Corey Stusse, director of sales for processed meats.

“Mainly bacon, hot dogs, sausages and lunchmeat,” Stusse said.

As an example, Stusse cited U.S.-based retailer H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, which sells cold cuts under Smithfield’s John Morrell brand at H-E-B stores in Monterrey in northern Mexico.

Smithfield plans to brand more products in Mexico under its other two labels – Smithfield and Farmland, he said.

Around 70 percent of Smithfield’s exports to Mexico go to the Mexico City marketplace, which boasts around 30 million people, Stusse said.

While efforts focus on retail, Mexico’s foodservice market is hungry for bacon, said Maria Bustamante, director of sales for Mexico and Latin America. “It’s by far No.1,” she said.

Smithfield Foods exports fresh and processed pork products to more than 40 nations, with weekly export sales in excess of 20 million pounds valued at more than $15 million, according to the company.