Business Overview

For as long as salt has been used in and on food, people have been sourcing it from the world’s oceans. Today, sea salt businesses use simple (and sometimes ancient) means to mine salt from seawater.

The sea salt industry has grown in recent years as the foodie movement has gained traction. The industry is expected to see sustained growth of 6.1 percent annually over the next five years, with global revenues forecasted to increase from $1.1 billion in 2016 to $1.5 billion by 20122.

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who is self-driven, likes working with their hands and can connect with people may be well-suited to running a sea salt business. The day-to-day work of making sea salt is largely done independently and involves a significant amount of manual labor. To sell their salts, though, business owners need to be able to successfully share their product with customers.

What happens during a typical day at a sea salt business?

Most days at sea salt businesses are spent either making sea salt or getting it to customers.

Making salt involves collecting ocean water from pre-selected locations and then evaporating the water molecules. Evaporation techniques range from leaving the saltwater in primitive wooden boxes to using high-tech evaporators.

When selling manufactured salts, the day might be spent finding wholesale accounts, selling at retail locations or analyzing online sales. Some of these methods also require packaging and shipping salts.

What is the target market?

The target market for a sea salt business is people who appreciate fine food and have some discretionary income. Such people will be interested in high-quality, unique salts, and they’ll have enough income to afford sea salt.

How does a sea salt business make money?

A sea salt business makes money by selling jars of salt to wholesale and retail customers. Jars may be sold individually or in a set that contains several different flavors.

What is the growth potential for a sea salt business?

A sea salt business may be a small one- or two-person operation that produces just a few hundred pounds of sea salt, or it can be a large company that makes thousands of pounds. For example, Amagansett Sea Salt first produced 500 pounds of salt in 2010. By 2014, the company was making 4,000 pounds annually and had plans to reach 40,000 pounds each year.