Adding salt to your food is about to become much healthier and tastier thanks to a new Israeli product that is dubbing itself the “the world’s healthiest gourmet salt.” It’s known as Naked Sea Salt and the wholesome granules come from the shores of the Dead Sea.
Entrepreneur Ari Fruchter, founder and CEO of the new social enterprise, worked with chefs, salt experts and environmentalists to perfect the new product. The beautifully packaged salt-herb mixes come in 20 flavors, among them mint&sundried tomato; garlic&ginger; and green seaweed. Fruchter turned to the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter to raise money for the production of 15 initial flavors.
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The company surpassed its opening funding goal of $10,000 within the first 48 hours.
“Our supporters have awed us with their generosity,” says Fruchter. “Meeting our minimum order within the first two days is incredible. It’s a compelling testament to the appeal of mineral-rich salt, the enthusiasm it inspires, and the hunger for natural, healthy, top-quality salt that exists in today’s global market.”
Fruchter first thought about shaking up the salt industry in 2011, when he helped bring American art photographer Spencer Tunick to Israel to raise awareness for the Dead Sea. In fact, he says ISRAEL21c’s coverage of Tunick’s nude photo shoot helped spike global interest.
“I’ve been a big Dead Sea activist for years,” Fruchter tells ISRAEL21c. “The awareness that we’re creating is tremendous. We want to connect people more closely to the Dead Sea through the product and use it as a platform to learn more about it.”
Adding a new company that requires the receding sea’s mineral-enhanced waters may raise some eyebrows. But Fruchter says his venture differs from other industries along the Dead Sea shores because he is committed to environmental preservation of the area and rehabilitating the tributaries that feed into the Dead Sea.
Fruchter has pledged three percent of his net sales to the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.
“For Naked Sea Salt to take such significant action is a critical step in the right direction. Their dedication to the environment makes them a pioneer of sustainable practice in the region,” says Clive Lipchin, director of the Center for Transboundary Water Management at the Arava Institute.
The Naked Sea Salt campaign is also promoting regional cooperation. While working on the Tunick photo shoot, Fruchter met West Bank Salt Company owner Sam Hallhu, who was using eco-friendly methods to harvest salt from the Dead Sea for the Arab market.
“We are proud of the results we have achieved with our Palestinian partner and hope that together we can show the world a new path to regional cooperation,” he says. “The expertise they bring to the table along with their traditional manufacturing methods are a key component to our having such as successful product.”
Naked Sea Salt is said to contain no chemicals, additives, food dyes or artificial refinement of any kind. The salt is harvested from the Dead Sea and packaged and produced in Haifa.
Fruchter says he has been approached by numerous retail outfits to put his salt on their shelves. So far, he’s dismissed all approaches.
“I really want to keep Naked Sea Salt as a boutique operation. I’m not looking to take it into retail stores,” he tells ISRAEL21c. “I prefer to connect to the customer.”
Although he met the initial goal, Fruchter says he’s still focused on the Kickstarter campaign. He says the next goal is to reach $100,000 and produce an additional five flavors.