There is no such thing as a commodity,” Harvard Business School guru Ted Levitt once opined. “All goods and services can be differentiated.”
Morton Salt proved that premise by branding table salt, under a trademark that goes back to the 1940s, and the tagline, “When it rains it pours.” But now, good old sodium chloride comes in a mouth-watering variety of brand names.
Check out a gourmet food shop or upscale restaurant, and you’ll find that once-humble salt has moved to the center of the table. As the owner of four-star restaurants in New York and California told a national magazine: “Salt is the most important seasoning ingredient there is.”
Which might account for the popularity of Real Salt, a natural sea salt with more than 60 trace minerals and a taste that many consumers rave about.
Real Salt, says its distributor, is “exactly the way nature made it — unlike most other salt companies, we don’t add anything and we don’t take anything away.” It’s available at Whole Foods, Super Target, Meijer, Giant Eagle, other grocery stores and health food stores.
Other sexy salt brands have emerged, including:
- Alderwood Smoked, a dark brown salt intended for burgers and salmon.
- Australian Pink, mild and snowflake shaped.
- Bolivian Rose, extracted by hand in the Andes mountains, colored by minerals in the earth.
- Cyprus Black, white sea salt from the Mediterranean, mixed with charcoal.
- Fleur de Sel, literally “flower of salt,” has been gathered on the island of Ré, off France’s Atlantic coast, since the seventh century. Beloved by cooks, these fine, light crystals have a delicate flavor and high concentration of minerals. It’s a pricy option from Williams-Sonoma ($14.95 for 8.8 ounces).