About Us

Established in 1964 by Sydney entrepreneurs Graham Steel and Brian Rich, Steric found its name by merging the initial three letters of their surnames. Shortly after, William (Bill) Brownie assumed control of Steel’s share, shaping the company’s early trajectory.

During its initial four years, Steric operated from modest leased factories in Sydney, starting in Kogarah and later moving to Carlton in the St. George area. The early years required dedicated efforts from Rich and Brownie to navigate the challenges of a fledgeling company. However, Steric quickly gained momentum.

From 1964 to 1974, William Brownie and Brian Rich transformed Steric into a prominent player in the Australian commercial food manufacturing scene. Following Rich’s retirement in 1974, Brownie assumed complete ownership of Steric.


In 1965, Steric marked a significant milestone with the launch of its inaugural branded product – High Qual Cooking Salt. While this achievement was noteworthy for the budding company, the true turning point occurred when Steric secured a contract to package fresh dates for Woolworths. Faced with the unexpected scale of the contract and lacking a dedicated workforce, William Brownie enlisted the help of his wife, Nancye, who, despite being a schoolteacher during the day, swiftly became a proficient date packer by night!

During its formative years, Steric’s scope extended beyond food products. Alongside its culinary offerings, Steric curated a diverse range of products, spanning from motor oil to birdseed and even washing detergent.

In 1968, Steric made a pivotal move by acquiring its inaugural building in Fairfield East, Sydney, which would later become the company’s headquarters. Fast forward more than 50 years, and this building now serves as Steric’s state-of-the-art product development laboratory.


As Steric entered its second decade of growth, the business expanded its footprint beyond Sydney and New South Wales. Venturing into interstate operations, Steric established a birdseed manufacturing plant in South Australia, a detergent manufacturing facility in Queensland, and initiated the production of cordials and dry goods in Melbourne. The core of Steric’s manufacturing and product development, however, remained rooted in Sydney.

While diversification played a pivotal role in elevating Steric to a national scale, William Brownie’s overarching vision was to exclusively concentrate on food products. This aspiration traced back to his early experiences; at the age of 16, he embarked on a cadetship with Campbell’s Soup Company. Following the completion of his cadetship, Brownie earned a degree in food science and evolved into a food technologist. His ultimate goal was to provide flavours and tastes that would be enjoyed by Australians across the nation.


Steric achieved a breakthrough by pioneering the introduction of generic grocery brands in the Australian retail market. As one of the early and most influential suppliers of generic brands to leading Australian supermarkets, Steric stood out in an industry where major food manufacturers typically prioritised their proprietary brands over generic ones.

Steric’s initial success in the generic brand arena included the introduction of the No Frills brand for Franklins and the No Name brand for Jewel Food Stores. As the market quickly recognised the influence of generic supermarket brands, Steric expanded its portfolio to encompass a diverse range of generic brand food products. These products were supplied to major supermarket chains across the nation, effectively becoming their own branded offerings.

Today, Steric remains a proudly Australian-owned family business, retaining its status as the leading producer of generic brands of food products in Australia. The company has also successfully diversified into numerous new product categories, fulfilling the vision set by William (Bill) Brownie many years ago.