From its humble origins in the late 19th century, Queen has become a prominent international brand and fine foods producer.
It now sells tens of millions of bottles of vanilla essence and other products throughout the world. Inspired by Queen Victoria’s love of vanilla and endorsed by her, the Queen brand has become synonymous with the world’s best vanilla.
Queen is the number one brand in the cake needs section of Australian supermarkets. Its diverse vanilla product range extends to certified organic, single origin and fair trade vanillas, and the international award winning vanilla paste. In addition to this, Queen offers an extensive range of food colours, natural colourings, cake decorations and baking aids for home cooks, as well as industrial products and retail food services.
Despite its long-standing association with baking extending back over a century, Queen and its products have continued to evolve through innovation and investment in product development. A key aspect of Queen’s success is its practice of hand-harvesting vanilla beans, coupled with a unique extraction process which preserves delicate flavours and aromas, thereby allowing consistent quality to be delivered. Queen also has a strong digital presence, where it has embraced social media, reality television shows and contemporary food culture as a way of engaging with, and inspiring, the next generation of bakers.
Queen has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to social and environmental responsibility. It has forged partnerships with vanilla growers in a range of countries, where it assists hundreds of farmers through education, training and funding to ensure their local vanilla industries enjoy a sustainable future. Most notable among these is the Vava’u Tonga Vanilla Program, which is one of the world’s largest rehabilitation programs. With Queen’s guidance and investment, the program is rebuilding a national industry and helping Tongan farmers to become sustainable producers of premium vanilla beans.
Upon acquiring Queen in 1978, the Himstedt family reenergised the company, and built on its dominant market position in Australia and New Zealand, while also expanding its international endeavours. Ross Himstedt, the driving force for most of those years, brought a distinctly Queensland leadership style to Queen. Characterised by self-reliance, never accepting the possibility of failure, and a relentless commitment to quality, Ross’s approach shaped Queen’s success. The business and its brand has continued to flourish under the leadership of Ross’s sons, Fred, Sam, and Tom Himstedt.
After more than 120 years, Queen is Queensland’s longest selling food brand, and its products are at the heart of Australian baking.