By Steve Rivkin
“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 City and Yountville, California, told Time Magazine: “Salt is the most important seasoning ingredient there is.”
Which might account for the emergence of such brands as:
- 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, a pricy option from Williams-Sonoma ($10.50 for 8.8 ounces).
- Hawaiian Red, intensely flavored, colored by natural clay.