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SMITHFIELD, Va. - U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc. on Tuesday announced it has formed a new unit, the Smithfield Deli Group, to market to the retail deli trade. The company named Richard T. Goodman president of the unit.
Goodman joins Smithfield from the ASE Deli Company of ConAgra Foods, where he was executive vice president and general manager.
The new deli group will be dedicated solely to marketing to the retail deli trade, including new product development to broaden the deli product line and meet changing consumer needs. Goodman, who has 17 years of industry management experience, will work with Smithfield's independent operating companies to leverage the synergies of their brands and deli operations. He will be responsible for increasing services to existing customers and developing new strategic opportunities.
"The formation of Smithfield Deli Group under the leadership of Rick Goodman will benefit our customers by providing access to one group within the Smithfield family that can respond to their needs and demands," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield Foods president and chief operating officer. "This also is another important step in our strategy to focus on the value-added segment of the business. Deli meat margins are the highest in our industry and the opportunities in this market are significant."
"A compelling attraction of Smithfield Foods is its lineup of powerful, quality brands produced from the best raw materials in the industry that will provide the foundation for establishing a national branded deli meat business," Goodman said. "A priority will be to build on the equity of these brands while adding new products and concepts to the supermarket deli. Smithfield Deli Group is committed to working with retailers across the nation to provide the best quality selection and service that will make their delicatessen a favorite destination."
With annual sales of $8 billion, Smithfield Foods is the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs. Smithfield's deli brands include Esskay, Gwaltney, John Morrell, Krakus, Kretschmar, Patrick Cudahy, Schneiders and Smithfield.