Bickford’s is one of Australia’s oldest and most treasured brands. Founded over 175 years ago we remain an Australian family owned and managed business, with our head office and operations centre based in Adelaide.
Our proud history of premium cordials and other refreshing beverages began in 1839 in a small apothecary shop. From these humble beginnings, a truly great Australian icon has grown but our original values of integrity and quality remain true to this day.
In our state-of-the-art operations centre a team of experts craft unique and innovative cordials, juice, waters and syrups. Not only are they custodians of our traditional recipes, they continually work to excite and delight our customers with innovative and delicious beverages.
Every Bickford’s product shows our commitment to excellence. Our products taste incredible, some offer functional health benefits and all contain the full flavour the world has come to expect from our iconic brand.
Hindley Street Apothecary - 1839
William Bickford, a 23-year-old chemist’s assistant, left England for South Australia in 1838. On the voyage, he met Anne Margaret Garret – his wife to be – and they arrived in Adelaide in February 1839.
Although he dreamed of starting his new life as a sheep grazier, William soon discovered that the price of sheep and cattle by far exceeded his limited resources. So he returned to his original training, first working as a dispensary assistant on North Terrace and then opening one of Adelaide’s first standalone apothecary in Hindley Street.
William and Anne had seven children and Anne worked as bookkeeper in the family business. Over the next ten years business boomed and the Bickfords became a prosperous Adelaide family.
A.M. Bickford & Sons - 1871
In 1850, William Bickford died at the age of 35, most likely from pneumonia. Anne Bickford continued trading and son Harry joined the business in 1864, then son William in 1871 when the company became A. M. Bickford & Sons.
The start of Cordials – 1872
Looking to diversify, the family built the South Australian Cordial Factory in 1872 and started producing cordials and soft drinks in 1874. One of their very first cordials was the now iconic Bickford’s Lime Juice Cordial.
The start of Coffee & Chicory Essence – 1920
In 1920, Bickford’s Coffee and Chicory Essence (now Bickford’s Iced Coffee Syrup) was released to instant success. It went on to win the coveted gold medal at the 1930 All Australian Exhibition.
A.M. Bickford & Sons - 1871
Throughout the 20th century, successive generations continued the Bickford’s family business that grew from manufacturing beverages and pharmaceutical supplies to wholesaling and medical equipment.
From 1936 to 1999, A.M. Bickford’s passed through several changes of ownership. Finally in 1999, the company returned to its rightful status as a proudly Australian family owned and managed business.
Bickford’s Australia growth – 2005
Bickford’s Australia moved into a purpose built, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in 2005 and the company continues to grow and prosper.
Heritage Icon – 2006
In 2006, Bickford’s Lime Juice Cordial was recognised by the National Trust of South Australia as a Heritage Icon.
Cordial Bottle Evolution
Over the years Bickford’s distinctively shaped cordial bottles and unique labels have developed an iconic status of their own.
As aesthetics and production methods have evolved, so the bottle design has changed. There have been times in Bickford’s history where the bottle shape was completely different – in the days when tradition was seen as old fashioned and a desire for ‘modernity’ was all the rage.
Now it’s come full circle and the heritage values of this iconic cordial bottle are celebrated. The bottle on shelves today replicates the original design and shape. It pays tribute to the special place Bickford’s cordial holds in hearts and minds around Australia.