Start Up Sea Salt Company Gets Expert Assistance with Branding and Packaging

December 3rd 2010 (Source: IEA)

Irish Atlantic Salt Ltd was formed in 2009 by Michael O’Neill, to develop and produce the first Irish Atlantic Organic Gourmet Sea Salt range of products which will be branded as “Irish Atlantic Sea Salt”. Michael O’Neill, is also managing director of Tower Aqua Products Ltd, an Aquaculture company, which produces Abalone, a highly prized shellfish. 

Initial market research showed that there is a market opportunity in Ireland and abroad for artisan sea salt products and at the time, there were no indigenous sea salt producers in Ireland. Research also indicated there existed a huge opportunity for the export of such products, as there already exists a discerning market in many countries for high quality sea salt.

 The key selling points of the brand include are as follows:
100% Pure Flaked Organic and Natural Atlantic Sea Salt from west Cork's Beara Peninsula.  
Over 50 natural trace elements which are elements essential for good health such as such as magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium.
Low Carbon Footprint – Manufactured locally in an eco-friendly, purpose built production facility.
100% Local Food! ( Low food miles! )
Low Environmental Impact - Passively extracted sea salt by taking sea water in and returning sea water back to the Atlantic ocean. ( 50Kg of salt for every 15,000 litres of seasalt )
Eco-Friendly Packaging: Sourced from sustainable sources and is 100% recyclable.
Slow Food - Salt content in sea water is 3.5% - Just 0.5% extracted and brought up to a 20% concentration before extracting the salt crystals over a slow, natural, two day crystalization process. 
Healthier alternative to other salts - Consumers need to use less of this salt in their food, compared to traditional table salts, because the quality and flavour intensity is so exceptional.
No free flow anti caking agents like iodized table salt which contains potassium iodide, dextrose to stabilize the salt and calcium silicate which is an anti-caking agent!

Irish Atlantic Sea Salt were part of the IEA's Channel Clusters Programme*.  The mentor for this cluster was Bullseye Food Marketing and the Channel Partner was Horgan's Deli Supplies.

Key Activities Undertaken by Cluster Leader (mentor) on Programme:
Developed new brand identity – Logo and Packaging design.

Located packaging suppliers and developed final pack.

Registered the new trade mark.

Clarified brand positioning / Unique Selling Points Established correct product Price positioning and Margins.

Undertook competitor price audit / Category “Gap analysis”.

Commissioned focus group research with 9 Sea Salt consumers.

Identified new salt product extension opportunities (smoked).

Located grant aid for business development from West Cork Enterprise Board.

Prepared a professional Buyer Listing Presentation.

Wrote content for and developed a new sales brochure Wrote content for the new web site.

Located distribution for the brand through Simply Wild.

Targeting listings for the new brand with key retailers.

Developed an effective promotional launch plan for the brand launch in 2011.

SALES: From 0 in 2009 to projected €150,00 in 2011.
JOBS: 2 jobs created.
NPD: 2 New products – Smoked and Mixed Sea Salt.

*This project was made possible through a financial contribution from the European Regional Development Fund Ireland Wales (INTERREG 4A) 2007 - 2013. This article refelcts the views of the author only and not those of the Programme Authorities.