When George Steggles and his three sons – Jack, George and Stan – began trading as
Steggles Bros from a small shop in Newcastle, NSW, their vision was to offer quality food under a brand that reflected their steadfast family values. It was 1919, and a lot has happened since then.
By 1928, Steggles went from fresh produce to processed chickens. Around Christmas and
Easter, when demand for the birds would increase, the Steggles family – including Jack’s wife Marion – would jump on their pushbikes to make deliveries all over town.
World War II brought this practice to a halt for a few years due to labour shortages. It also sent Jack and Marion’s son, Bruce Steggles, a way to serve as a fighter pilot with the RAAF. Upon his return in 1942, he joined the company as a floor sweeper; by 1950, he had moved his way up to Managing Director.
Bruce went on to lead the Steggles business through a period of major growth. By 1962, a new operations plant in Beresfield, NSW was producing 800,000 chickens and hatching over one million eggs each week.
In 1968, Steggles established a first-of-its-kind post-graduate scholarship in poultry nutrition at the
Sydney University, and also became the first brand in Australia to venture into fast food chicken, with the introduction of the Henny Penny chain.
Over the years, Steggles evolved into the “integrated poultry operation” it is today, adding turkey and stockfeed to its offering. Many jobs have been created along the way, and the term ‘Steggler’ came to represent all the people who work day in and day out to bring quality chicken from farm to plate, with the highest standards.
The point of those standards is to give families something special to gather around. This is best summarised by their brand line, “We’re not just Stegglers for quality. We’re Stegglers for quality time.” And the company believes that quality time has never been more important to families than today.
“Our range is a simple reminder to Aussie families to slow down and enjoy some precious quality time with family and friends, over a deliciously cooked roast,” says Yash Gandhi, Head of Marketing at Baiada – the parent company that acquired Steggles in 2009.
But Steggles’ impact has gone way beyond the family table, extending into Australian communities. Through their Charity Nest initiative, established in 2010, they’ve already raised just short of $10 million in support of a number of children’s charities, such as the Children’s Cancer Institute, Lifestart, and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Their sponsorship of NRL team Sydney Roosters is more than a great branding fit; it provides another vehicle to raise funds for those in need, as well as an opportunity to celebrate the impact women make in and around rugby. Steggles has also started a Grassroots Sports Program in support of local sport, underlining its belief that quality time within the community is just as important as in the home.
From humble beginnings to being the country’s preferred chicken brand, it’s fair to say that Steggles has become exactly what George and his family intended back in 1919: a wholesome business that has been bringing Australians together for more than a century.
“To this day, the ‘Stegglers’ legacy is being carried forward, and we’re proud to have reached this special milestone of 100 years,” says Simon Camilleri, Managing Director of Baiada.