Irish Bio Salt is the brainchild of engineer-turned-entrepreneur John Thornton, who has developed a new low sodium salt product combined with kelp seaweed to create a highly nutritious alternative to traditional table salt.
John Thornton decided he would like to start a business with a local twist. Living beside the sea, he was aware of the health properties of seaweed and had been using it in ground form at home for years, adding it to pizza toppings and other dishes. In late 2011, he began looking at how he could incorporate Irish seaweed into mainstream food.
John’s research showed that consumers have an appetite for healthier alternatives, but only if they taste good, are easy to use and hit the right price point. This meant coming up with a product that was based around a foodstuff that would act as a natural carrier for the ground-up kelp.
“I eventually decided on salt despite its negative health associations because I saw an opportunity to produce a unique product that combined low sodium salt [60 per cent lower in sodium than regular table salt] and local seaweed,” he says. “The advantage was the obvious market gap. The challenge lay in overcoming the technical hurdles entailed in making a salt/seaweed product that tasted the same as ordinary salt and had a comparable price. Awareness of salt-related medical problems is growing, as is awareness of nutrient supplements in foods. Irish Bio Salt ticks the box as a salt replacement and as a functional food. What we offer is all of the flavour and none of the guilt.”