Home-Grown Sugar for Go-To Sweet Guys
For almost 150 years spanning five generations, the Queensland-based Tristram family has been at the helm of the Australian family-owned manufacturer Trisco Foods.
Starting out with Tristram’s soft drinks supplied for more than a century, the state’s once-largest manufacturer of aerated beverages sold that division of the business to Cadbury-Schweppes in 1976.
“My father Ian retained a small piece of the original Tristram’s business, making cordials and milkshake syrups for milk bars when they were a thing – so it was like a phoenix rising from the ashes,” said Trisco Foods CEO Mike Tristram of the family business’ rebirth in 1979 as Trisco Foods.
“Dad took what was a very small business that has grown into a much larger conglomerate of what we do now in food service – supporting franchises and other quick-service restaurants – this also includes our own branded Venezia range of coffee syrups, sauces, and fruit beverage mixes.”
“We are kind of the go-to sweet guys, so it’s very important for us to use Australian-grown and made products where we can, and we made the strategic decision to be more Australian manufacturing- focused,” Mr Tristram told The Cultivator.
In December 2019, Trisco Foods launched a second food manufacturing facility in the United States to complement their Australian production of their globally exclusive liquid thickener, part of the Precise range of products.
The range is used as a critical ingredient in beverages to meet the needs of people diagnosed with dysphagia, enabling the consumption of drinks.
Mr Tristram said the pre-pandemic timing for the US launch of their patented liquid thickener manufacturing technology provided a critical back-up supply to exports from Australia of “the only product of its kind in the world.”
“Without the US production facility, we would have been in real trouble with supply as it is not a product that can easily be replaced.”
Trisco Foods also acquired Enprocal, a dietary supplement product which now forms part of the Precise range of products.
Enprocal provides extra nutrition to assist general health and wellbeing with a focus on fighting frailty.
Alongside contract manufacturing for some of Australia’s best known retail partners, Trisco Foods’ industrial, bakery and food service products include ingredients from premium fillings for customers such as The Cheesecake Shop, to biscuits and lamingtons, and an array of ice-cream toppings and flavoured syrups.
Mr Tristram said this meant Manildra Group’s 100 per cent Australian-owned, grown and made glucose and sugar used exclusively in Trisco Foods’ domestic operations wound up in “milkshakes, coffee syrups, and baked products all over the country.”
“Quality, customer service and the relationships we have with our suppliers are all really important to us throughout the entire supply chain.”
Mr Tristram said the COVID-19 pandemic had increased opportunities for “onshoring as opposed to what had been a predominantly global supply program between major corporations – particularly in the traditional side of our business of joy- providing products such as syrups and toppings.”
With a strong presence throughout the Asian region, Trisco Foods has a long and successful history in exporting, with their largest markets Korea, Philippines and China.
“Due to COVID, there has been a decline in our export markets but there is still strong demand, particularly in Asia for our decadent sundae and coffee syrups,” said Mr Tristram.
Trisco Foods’ product development continues to reflect the ongoing trend for NAFNAC (no artificial flavours, no artificial colours) products and fewer preservatives where possible.
Mr Tristram said “we haven’t seen a lot in the sugar-free evolution that we thought that we would see by now, and I think that’s a result of technology not replacing the sucrose molecule well enough.”
“A lot of people still want a sweet treat and we have not seen a suitable sugar replacement that provides people with what they want, and also acts in the way that sugar does naturally in its preservative effect.”
As both 100 per cent Australian family-owned businesses, Manildra Group and Trisco Foods share a commitment to supporting local manufacturing industries and Australian made and grown products.
Manildra Group Queensland Sales Manager Cameron Mackay acknowledged innovation is at the heart of Trisco Foods’ vision, and their success in becoming a global leader in the sweet beverage and dessert ingredient industries.
“Trisco Foods is renowned for producing decadent sweet sauces and syrups – and we’re very proud to contribute our own 100 per cent Australian sugar and glucose ingredients to this exceptional Australian business success story.”