CHICAGO and SHANGHAI (PRNewswire) — Morton Salt, the trusted authority in salt inNorth America, today announced it is expanding its iconic Morton® brand, product offerings and capabilities in China through a strategic collaboration with Morton China National Salt (Shanghai) Salt Co. Ltd., a Chinese joint venture.
The collaboration includes trademark and technology licensing agreements, which Morton Salt CEO Christian Herrmann and Mr. Wang Xueshi, General Manager of China National Salt (Shanghai) Salt Company, officially signed today during a ceremony attended by local business leaders, government officials and media inShanghai.
As part of the deal, the joint venture will import, market and sell a broad array of packaged Morton culinary salts, water softening salts, and Epsom salts across China. In addition to these finished goods, the joint venture is constructing a new packaging operation inShanghai to increase its production and distribution of select salt products inChina. The new operation is expected to be completed inMarch 2015.
Select Morton-branded products have been imported by the joint venture to China on a small scale over the past decade. The expanded scope of the joint venture will provide consumers inChina with a larger product selection from Morton Salt.
"Morton Salt has been a leading brand in the U.S. for more than 165 years, and our expansion inChina through this joint venture is an exciting step toward achieving our vision, which is to establishMorton Salt as the premium salt brand inChina," said Morton Salt CEO Christian Herrmann.
"This is an important and distinctive milestone for the global salt industry," said Mr. Wang Xueshi. "Through this strategic collaboration, we are demonstrating an increased level of cooperation between U.S. and Chinese commercial interests while also providing Chinese consumers with greater choice in the marketplace."
He added: "We are delighted to work with Morton Salt to bring one of the leading consumer brands in the U.S. to even more people inChina."
According to Roskill Information Services, China is the largest consumer of salt in the world because of its expansive chemical industry and the dietary needs of its 1.4 billion people. In 2012, China represented nearly a quarter of global salt demand. The country is also projected to be the fastest growing salt importer and to remain the fastest growing major national market as a result of the robust expansion of its economy.
Morton Salt products to be imported for sale in China include: Morton® Table Salt, Morton® Natural Sea Salt, Morton® Sea Salt grinders and refills, Morton® Fine Sea Salt, Morton® Kosher Salt, Morton® System Saver® water softening pellets and Morton® Epsom Salt (scented products).
In addition, the joint venture will package Chinese-language versions of several Morton-branded products, including Morton® Table Salt, Morton® Lite Salt™, and Morton® Nature's Seasons®. To support the domestic packaging operation, the joint venture will import salt through Morton's parent company, K+S AG, the world's largest salt producer.
"Sales of Morton Salt in China have risen steadily in recent years, signaling a strong demand for our products," said Herrmann. "We are committed to offering Chinese consumers a full range of Morton products that have long been synonymous with excellence in the U.S."
Morton Salt's roots were established in Chicago, Ill., in 1848. Today, the company remains one of the most recognized consumer brands and is the market leader in table and specialty salts as well as water softening pellets in the U.S. In 2014, the company is marking the 100th birthday of its famous brand icon, the Morton Salt Girl, who will continue to be a prominent fixture onMorton Salt products in China.
Morton China National Salt (Shanghai) Salt Co. Ltd. is an existing Chinese joint venture between a K+S Group affiliate and China National Salt Company.
About Morton Salt, Inc.Morton Salt, Inc., part of the K+S Group, is the trusted authority in salt in North America. Our iconic Morton® brand, coupled with the broadest footprint in the industry, have made us a leader since 1848. We produce salt for culinary, water softening, household and road deicing, food processing, chemical, pharmaceutical, and numerous industrial uses. Our nearly 2,900 employees are committed to safety, quality, service and the communities in which we operate. For more information, visitwww.mortonsalt.com <http://www.mortonsalt.com/>.