Sweet victory for Tristram clan as it wins Premier’s export award
THE family behind the iconic Tristram softdrink brand has been named the Premier of Queensland's Exporter of the Year for its success in marketing its expanding range of food products overseas.
Carole Park-based Trisco Foods, owned by the Tristram family, has been manufacturing food and beverage products in Queensland for more than 144 years.
The business was founded by Thomas Tristram in 1875, with his landmark factory in Boundary St, West End, considered one of the most modern of its era.
The soft drink business were sold to Cadbury Schweppes in 1970 when the family concentrated on the ingredients business including syrups and thickeners. In more recent times it has developed products for the rapidly expanding aged care sector.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the award was a deserved win for a family that was always innovating and striving to provide high quality products.
"The family's first factory was a small building of two rooms attached to the rear of the family home in Hope Street, South Brisbane," said Ms Palaszczuk. "From these humble beginnings the business has grown into a huge success story and we're extremely proud of this company from Brisbane taking on the world."
Trisco Foods, now run by Thomas Tristram's great great grandson Mike Tristram, has a strong export presence throughout the Asian region This year, Trisco Foods opened a factory in Colorado Springs to service demand in the United States.
For many older Queenslanders the name Tristram is still associated with the marketing slogan it used for its softdrinks "Say Tristrams Please."
A 1933 advertisement in the Brisbane Courier, the precursor to today's The Courier-Mail, boasted of the "vital energy in every bubble" of the drinks leaving the factory.
"I think Thomas Tristram would be proud that we are still helping people," said Trisco Foods chief executive Mike Tristram said in an interview with the Courier Mail in 2016. "The company has traditionally sold 'joy,' whether that be in the form of a topping on an ice cream or something in a pie, but now with the move into aged care we are helping people improve their quality of life."
Exports make up about half of the Tristram business, with Asia a burgeoning market for the company.
Mr Tristram said the company's aged care range of products grew out of a realisation that it had to innovate in order to stay competitive.
"We wanted to develop new products and new markets, using our knowledge of thickeners, starches and liquids," he said.
The result is a revolutionary liquid thickener for the swallowing disorder dysphagia, an affliction which particularly affects those with dementia or motor neurone disease. By adding the thickening agent to drinks such as tea or coffee, the liquid can be more easily swallowed.