Utah Companies Participate in the Largest Retail and Supermarket Trade Show in Latin America

Pete CodellaNews

Six Utah companies exhibited their products March 16-18 at Expo Asociación Nacional de Tiendas de Autoservicio y Departamentales (ANTAD), the leading trade show for retail in Mexico.

“The Expo ANTAD trade show gives Utah companies the opportunity to gain visibility with brands and buyers in Mexico,” said Derek B. Miller, World Trade Center Utah president and CEO. “Trade missions and trade shows are the most efficient way for a company to get their products in front of hundreds of international buyers in one week. We are thrilled by the success the Utah trade show participants experienced at Expo ANTAD.”

The trade show is the final component of the trade mission to Mexico led by World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Expo ANTAD is an annual trade show that gives exhibitors the opportunity to interact directly with buyers for supermarket chains, department stores, specialty stores and pharmacies to just name a few. More than 43,000 people from 45 countries attend the show each year. Expo ANTAD is the only trade show in the world where buyers have booths to facilitate meetings with exhibitors.

“For small businesses, trade shows are valuable face-to-face marketing events that can result in highly targeted business leads and subsequent sales,” said Brett Heimburger, director of the International Trade and Diplomacy Office at GOED. “The STEP program makes the experience possible for Utah companies that may not have the opportunity otherwise. Companies that participated today will see significant sales opportunities.”

A successful showing at Expo ANTAD could mean a significant increase in sales to Mexico for Utah exhibitors, as the show represents 45 percent of all of the retail sales in Mexico. It is a prime opportunity for American food and retail companies looking to sell to the Latin American market.

Norbest, a company that produces mountain-grown turkey products in Moroni, was a first time participant in ANTAD. The show allowed them to meet with buyers from major grocery distributors.

“We met with so many qualified buyers that it has made us reconsider our markets and see serious potential for expansion,” said Robert Wangerien, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Norbest.

Utah and Mexico have a strong trade relationship. This is Utah’s third trade mission to Mexico in the last five years. Over the past decade Utah exports to Mexico have grown 473 percent and in 2015 Mexico was Utah’s fourth largest export destination. The Mexican market is a good prospect for Utah companies looking to export because of its proximity to the state and the trade agreements, such as the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), that are in place.

The trade mission to Guadalajara, which began on Monday, also included business to business matchmaking, site visits and networking events. It gave Utah companies the opportunity to meet directly with both retail buyers and potential distributors to drive increased sales in Mexico.

Utah companies and the products they showcased at Expo ANTAD:

Frank Granato Imports/Cheese Merchants – Canned tomato and parmesan products
FiberFix USA LLC. – Industrial-strength fiber wrap
Choice Foods LLC. – Quality snack foods
NewLook International Inc. – Premium coatings and building material solutions
Norbest LLC – Mountain-grown, vegetarian-fed turkey products
Jaseboards USA Inc. – High-quality off the rack boards

The Utah booth at the trade show was paid for by the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program, a federal initiative to help eligible small businesses increase exports. The STEP Program also provided some funding to trade show participants to cover a portion of their travel costs. Grants are available to qualified companies interested in participating in a trade show or a trade mission. For more information, visit business.utah.gov/step.

Utah booth at the Expo ANTAD trade show in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Representatives from Norbest meeting with a potential buyer in the Utah booth at Expo ANTAD.