Iconic cordial and beverage producer Bickford’s welcomed prime minister Scott Morrison and SA premier Steven Marshall to open its new $20m bottling line.
The new line installed at Bickford’s is manufactured by Sidel, in conjunction with Tetra Pak, and is one of only a handful in the southern hemisphere to use aseptic filling technology. Products from the line will be hitting shelves around the country in the coming weeks.
The project represents the most significant capability upgrade for the family-owned Bickford’s business in almost three decades, and has been three years in the making. It will produce 18,000 bottles an hour. It becomes the eighth line at the company’s purpose-built $50m Salisbury South facility.
The prime minister was given a tour of the new plant by owner Angelo Kotses. “I was thrilled to get this invitation,” Morrison said, “What is being done here is great for manufacturing – the future of Australian manufacturing is high quality. This is a fantastic example of how the latest technology can be used right here right now, and is a great signal to others that this is a great place to invest and grow.”
Bickford’s has been producing beverages since 1874, when 1200 bottles of the Lime Juice cordial were produced each day and labelled by hand. Today in addition to the collection of brands under the umbrella of the Bickford’s Group, the business also makes products on behalf of a group of contract partners.
The products in the Bickford’s portfolio includes the flagship cordial, backed up by a range of functional juices, premium mixers, purified waters, and Bickford’s original and distinctive Iced Coffee syrup, which celebrates its 100-year anniversary in November this year. The company also produces milk, wines, beers and spirits.
Angelo Kotses said “We are building a legacy that is born in South Australia. This fantastic new technology enables us to take South Australia and the Bickford’s brand to the world – that makes me proud.” Bickford’s is currently exporting to 39 countries, and locally one in 25 Australians consumes a Bickford’s product every week.
According to Bickford’s the new technology will create "endless opportunity" for the business; it says it is now in a position to create innovative beverages in almost every drinks category, including a wider range of preservative free options.
South Australian premier Marshall commented “This new facility is awe-inspiring, and everyone involved should be filled with a great sense of pride. The passion that Angelo Kotses has for his consumers, retailers, staff and brands is evident – this kind of manufacturing is critical for South Australia."