More Brits than ever before are upgrading to gourmet salt from ordinary table salt as the once foodie trend becomes mainstream.
In the last year demand for some of these stronger tasting varieties have rocketed by as much as 2600 per cent as shoppers look to cut down on how much salt they use with their meals.
The trend is growing so much that Tesco now stocks eight different gourmet salt products - outnumbering ordinary table salt ones for the first time ever.
In the last year the supermarket has seen the following rises in gourmet salt varieties, each with their own distinctive taste:
- Smoked salt - demand up by 250 per cent
- Sea Salt Crystals - up by nearly 2600 per cent
- Himalayan Pink Salt - a rise of more than 2000 per cent
- Rock Salt - grown by more than 2000 per cent
The rising demand has led to gourmet salt moving from being a niche product to now accounting for more than 40 per cent of total salt sales at Tesco.
Behind the rise is the growing interest in scratch cooking fuelled by the many current TV cookery shows and celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein.
Tesco Herbs and Spices Buyer Paul Curtis explains:
"The increasing demand is largely down to growing public awareness of the health benefits of scratch-cooking and in turn following chefs and influencers' leads when it comes to seasoning dishes in order to improve the flavour of our food.
"Latest sales figures reveal that demand for table salt is completely flat and all the growth in the salt market is coming from newer, gourmet varieties.
"As a result we have doubled our range in the last few years to meet the growing demand."
One UK company at the forefront of the gourmet salt revolution is Cornish Sea Salt who are based in Helston, off the Lizard peninsular.
The business was launched in 2013 and since then they have seen sales rise by 250 per cent which has allowed them to quadruple the size of their plant to meet the rising demand.
Cornish Sea Salt Company Managing Director Philip Tanswell said:
"The past few years have seen have seen a significant rise in the demand for sea salt in the UK, quadrupling output from our sea salt house in Cornwall as a result.
"Our salts are naturally lower in sodium and contain over 60 healthy minerals. They pack such a punch that you'll get away with using 30 per cent less than other salts for the same intensity of flavour."
Smoked with apple and cherry wood these combine mineral rich sea salt with extra smoky flavour. Layering smoked salts in the early stages of a dish will create a caramel woody tone. Perfect to use for BBQ's, or to pep up simple dishes like cheese on toast.
Sea Salt Crystals
Crystals endure the cooking process providing seasoning longevity and retain their texture more than flakes. Perfect for use as a rub for roasting joints or steaks as well as adding crunch in salted butters.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan Pink Salt is a course salt that needs grinding onto food. It has a milder salt flavour when compared to table, rock and sea salts, which means that it is best for dishes with delicate flavour. Perfect for use on salads or shellfish.
Rock salt is table salt in its original form. The course salt retains more of the original minerals than table salt and needs to be ground onto food using a mill or cooked into dishes that reach high heat to dissolve. Perfect for a slow cooked dishes like curry or in a mill to be added to dishes at the table.