Morton Salt - Chicago, IL and Shanghai

Morton Salt to Expand Its Iconic Brand in China

October 14, 2014

Morton Salt, the trusted authority in salt in North 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 in Shanghai.

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 in Shanghai to increase its production and distribution of select salt products in China. The new operation is expected to be completed in March 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 in China 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 in China through this joint venture is an exciting step toward achieving our vision, which is to establish Morton Salt as the premium salt brand in China,” 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 in China.”

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 on Morton 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, visit www.mortonsalt.com.

About China National Salt (Shanghai) Salt Company Ltd.

A wholly owned subsidiary of China National Salt Industry Corporation (CNSIC), China National Salt (Shanghai) Salt Company, previously called East China Salt Bureau, was established in 1949. The business scope of the company covers table salt, industrial salt and other types of salt products and sells salt chemicals and chemical products. Shanghai Salt controls 4 distribution centers in Shanghai, a packaging line in Jiangsu Jintan, Morton China National Salt (Shanghai) Salt Co. Ltd. (a majority shareholder), CNSIC East China Chemicals Trading Company, CNSIC (Shanghai) Capital Rental Ltd., and the operation of the Shanghai Liangyou Hotel. In 2014, the amount of total sales is projected to be over 1 billion RMB. The total sales of all types of salt products combined will be 400,000 tons in 2014.

As a state-owned enterprise approved for selling salt products under the Chinese government’s salt monopoly policy, CNSIC (Shanghai) is also the Shanghai Salt Bureau, a government agency of the Shanghai city government. Together they are responsible for the management of Shanghai’s table salt market, implementing the monopoly policy and ensuring a stable supply of standard iodized salt. Since it was established, CNSIC (Shanghai) has upheld the table salt monopolization policy and has ensured that the people are provided with iodized salt. The company strives to improve the availability of iodized salt in Shanghai, increase the number of available table salt product types and meet consumer demands. The objectives of its business operations include top quality products, customer focus, 24-hour delivery, 360-degree service, year round operation and complete customer satisfaction. Following the CNSIC’s “Two-Step” strategy, CNSIC (Shanghai) focuses on fast growth, adjusts its business practices based on changes in the market, explores new business models in the traditional table salt industry, continues to improve operations, optimizes the use of resources, expands business in the logistical industry, and improves professional service quality. This strategy, combined with positive company image and top quality services, has earned CNSIC (Shanghai) approval from customers around the world. As a result, CNSIC (Shanghai) has made significant contributions to the regional economy. For more information regarding CNSIC (Shanghai), please visit our website: http://www.shsalt.cn/