When Cornish Sea Salt Founder Tony Fraser spotted an Iron Age salt works in a remote cove on the south coast of Cornwall, he saw a golden opportunity: a chance to revive the historic practices of sea salt harvesting in the region and bring the product to a modern market.
Since launching into the market in 2008, Cornish Sea Salt has used a blend of century-old techniques and modern technology to capture more than 60 minerals in every flake of salt. Sadly, Tony has since passed away, but his legacy lives on in his iconic product that can be spotted in kitchens across the world.
For Cornish Sea Salt, Cornwall isn’t just a part of the branding – it offers a distinctive taste that can’t be found anywhere else. Serpentine and Gabbro stone in the sea off the Lizard Peninsula mean Cornwall’s sea salt is naturally rich in magnesium and calcium, and low in sodium.
The combination creates a strong, recognisable flavour that’s popular with many top chefs– as well as Michelin-starred restaurants and everyday home cooks.
It’s also a product that’s been innovated on time and time again since its revival. The company started with one product – their signature crystal sea salt, but now has a large range including the top selling flakes and a range of restaurant standard meal cheat seasonings. Now, Cornish Sea Salt has well over ten different salt products, offering diverse flavours from tried-and-tested luxury salt and pepper combination to a fiery umami seaweed salt.
The brand has even expanded into working with food producers, helping them to reduce sodium content and elavtaing flavour by using one of their specialist production blends.
“We have dedicated ‘Salt Gurus’ that hold workshops to advise brands on how to make their meals healthier and use salt more efficiently – it’s a big part of our new strategic growth as a company,” says Group Sales Director Suzanne Skerry. “Our salt’s strong flavour and low sodium content makes it a perfect substitute for traditional salt.”
When Suzanne joined Cornish Sea Saltnine years ago, she had one key goal: to start exporting the company’s salt worldwide. And the Scandinavian market offered the perfect starting point.
After identifiying an opportunity in the Swedish market and attending trade shows across the region, she secured a large distribution partner in Sweden – opening the doors to dozens of Swedish retailers, as well as customers in retail and foodservice in Norway, Denmark, and Finland.
“We’ve had to adapt our labelling and pack size to suit some of the markets we’re exporting to” explains Suzanne. “But ultimately, we’ve found that customers in the Scandinavian market really appreciate the Cornish history that’s part of our brand.”
Scandinavia was just the starting point. Now, Cornish Sea Salt exports to over 33 countries across the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North America and Oceania – and the company has even won the Queen’s Award for excellence in international trade.
“It’s been interesting to see how different the varieties of our salt have been received internationally,” says Ottie Skewes, Export Sales Executive. “Our salt flakes are popular in places like Scandinavia, whereas buyers in the Middle East – particularly Kuwait – prefer crystals.”
One of the most significant contributors to the company’s next growth stage will be its growth in the US.
After some expert advice on how to start exporting your products? We’ve captured some key tips from Suzanne here. And if you’d like to find out more about Cornish Sea Salt’s impressive journey, visit the company’s website.
If you want to find out how to start your exporting journey – or expand the countries you export to – get in touch with Cornwall Trade and Investment today.
Whether you’re looking to locate in Cornwall, or to start exporting beyond its borders, get in touch with our friendly team to talk through your needs.