(Feb. 23) A bumper crowd is expected at Mexico’s premier retail exposition this year.

The 2007 Asociacion Nacional de Tiendas de Autoservicio y Departamentales, or ANTAD, scheduled for March 13-16 in Guadalajara should draw about 25,000 attendees, said Manuel Alvarez, director of trade shows for the organization. There were about 19,000 attendees in 2006.

Alvarez said he expects about 1,000 exhibitors, up from 850 last year.

A Fresh Products Pavilion also will be introduced this year, which should help keep perishable items in the same area organized by region, he said.

Alvarez said he expects more than 150 fresh produce companies to exhibit this year. About 60 exhibited in 2006.

The Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del., has planned a meeting of its international council to coincide with the show, said Nancy Tucker, PMA vice president of global business development.

Tucker said members of the international council also will head up a panel on food safety and sustainability scheduled for March 14.