Oryx Salt promotional images
  • Oryx Desert Salt, which mines in the Kalahari, is packing its third shipping container destined for the USA.
  • The brand will officially be on the shelves of more than 500 Whole Foods outlets in that country in October.
  • It expects to sell as much salt in the USA as it does in South Africa – at first.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Earlier this month, Oryx Desert Salt sent off a second container-load of salt to the United States. It is currently packing a third.

If it – and iconic American retail chain Whole Foods – are correct, there will be a lot more such shipments. The company anticipated it will sell as much salt in America as it does in South Africa, it told Business Insider South Africa – initially.

Oryx is due to officially hit shelves in Whole Foods across the USA, in a total of 515 locations, in October. That chain started to expand out of its Texas base in 1984, and was bought by Amazon in 2017. Since then it has grown rapidly.

With the chain's strong focus on organic products and sustainability ratings, Whole Foods' customers should be a natural audience for Oryx, which describes how its salt is "harvested in a sustainable manner from a remote and pristine area of the vast Kalahari Desert" and "contains the essential, natural minerals and trace elements, from ancient underground rock strata in the correct balance, for your body to absorb and utilise for optimal functioning, vitality and health."

Founder and CEO Samantha Skyring says the inspiration for the brand came from face-to-face encounters with the gemsbok for which it is named while she hiked through the Namib Desert in 2000, then started packing bags at a dining room table.

In anticipation of being listed at Whole Foods, Oryx says it employed eight people to pack products in a new packing room, after moving warehouses. 

The company has some international exposure, with sales in Germany and the United Kingdom as well as Qatar and Taiwan. But its major outlets are Pick n Pay and some Woolworths and Spar stores in South Africa. 

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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