“Scottish chefs, farm shops and premium stores are the initial target for Scotland’s first premium sea salt, due to launch in January.

Hebridean Sea Salt is the brainchild of Natalie Crayton, based on the Isle of Lewis, who was inspired by the launch of Cornish Sea Salt in 2008 to create a Scottish version.

Crayton, a former sales and marketing executive, says she has already had a good response from retailers including House of Bruar in Perthshire and Craigies farm shop near Edinburgh – even before her packaging is finalised.

Hebridean Sea Salt has also attracted interest from chefs and from manufacturers hoping to incorporate a Scottish salt in their products.

Crayton says she will be selling mainly on ‘Scottishness’ but also stresses that the Grade A waters around the Outer Hebrides are as clean as can be found around the British Isles.

She is currently producing sample quantities at home but will move to a small but “properly engineered” sea salt plant by the end of the year, producing batches of 250 200g packs.

“I’ll be working on a test batch machine to begin with,” she said, “but the plan is to move into a larger unit with 12-18 months.”

Grant aid for the launch has come from bodies including Highlands & Islands Enterprise, the Western Isles Council and the Technology Strategy Board.

Crayton, who hails from Edinburgh but whose husband is a fisherman in Western Isles, has also received backing from Scotland Food & Drink and the Prince’s Youth Business Trust.”