French producers of Jambon de Bayonne, a premium air-dried salted ham, will be able to target the US from next year with authorities in the country set to allow in imports.

A spokesperson for Jambon de Bayonne maker Delpeyrat told just-food US approval was imminent.

The Delpeyrat spokesperson said little or no tradition of charcuterie consumption in the US meant the company's initial inroads into the market would be via wholesalers before targeting the supermarket segment in the longer term. The green light would follow a similar move by China in April.

Jambon de Bayonne is a long-standing feature of French supermarkets' premium charcuterie range. Trade body, the Interprofession du Jambon de Bayonne, is eyeing annual combined sales in the US and China of around 100,000 blocks over the next two years. The projected global output for this year is almost 1.2m blocks.