The rich mineral content of Greek sea salt is well-known for improving the flavor of foods. CHION Salt CEO Spyros D. Kanellopoulos spoke with The National Herald about the company and its 87 years bringing the highest quality salt to the market for home cooks and professional chefs alike around the world.
TNH: What makes CHION Salt the best choice for cooking with at home and for professional chefs?
Spyros D. Kanellopoulos: It is not a single thing but a combination of an excellent quality raw material sea salt, coming from the Messolonghi Lagoons, and an advanced process of washing, drying, and refining the salt without changing the nature of its crystals. On the other hand, it is the people of our company who create a unique salt with love, giving extra value to the product itself.
TNH: Which products are the most popular and are there new types of salt consumers should know about?
SK: Regarding the Greek market, the fine sea salt shaker remains the most popular product, although the new trend is the usage of coarse sea salt in cooking and especially as a garnish in finishing plates. For people in Peloponnesos, it is not something new but in Athens this is the new habit in cooking.
Consumers are also interested in our new product series of coarse sea salt in ceramic grinders. It is available in four flavor options: natural without additives, with organic thyme from the Greek countryside, with Greek dry lemon, and with Royal Kombu seaweed of sustainable production, which is a new food trend in Western Europe.
TNH: With 87 years of experience, what is the secret to the company’s longevity and success?
SK: The most important asset of a company is its people, who work hard, and so it is for CHION, which is a family-owned business for three generations, since 1935. For us, the third generation, it is our home, it is the way we grow up and how we learn to treat life, work together, and love salt.
Nowadays our company has a lot of experience with the product and the market. We maintain the principles and traditions of the previous generation and pass them to the following one. Furthermore, love and passion for the product is valuable for the everlasting growth of the business.
TNH: CHION Salt is available across the globe today, where have you seen the highest growth in demand for your products and are there plans to expand to even more countries?
SK: The last decade we tried hard to grow exports as a way out of the Greek economic crisis. Last year, our exports increased to 25% of our revenue and entailed almost 30 countries. The highest growth of the last 3-4 years came from the Canadian market which we supply with both CHION brand and private label products.
We have target and potential markets, but people’s habits differ from country to country. Nevertheless, the Mediterranean diet and its health benefits is globally recognized. We believe that taking this opportunity and through the development and consistent quality of our products we will succeed in our goals.
More information about CHION salt is available online: http://www.chionsalt.gr.