Australia’s fastest growing company is a drinks brand

The fastest growing companies in Australia in 2022 have been announced by The Australian Financial Review’s Fast 100 and Fast Starters lists. In the number one spot is Naked Life Non-Alcoholic Spirits, while the fastest of the Fast Starters is hard seltzer maker Fellr.

Naked Life Non-Alcoholic Spirits was founded in Melbourne in 2016 by former strategy consultant David Andrew. After achieving $357,694 turnover in 2019-20, Naked Life trebled its range and won distribution in Woolworths and Coles, on its way to $6,655,929 revenue in 2021-22 – a compound annual growth rate of 331 per cent over the last three financial years.

Naked Life’s growth has been turbocharged by the rapid growth of the non-alcoholic drinks market, which now has a 3.5 per cent share of the total beer, spirit and wine market. It has become $152 million a year in Australia, is forecast by IWSR to rise at a rate of 31 per cent a year, until at least 2024.

Fellr launched during the first lockdown and turned over just $11,701 in 2019-20, but that boomed to $4.5 million revenue in 2021-22, equating to a compound annual growth rate of 1863 per cent over the last three financial years and putting the company at the top the Australian Financial Review Fast Starters list for 2022.

The Fast Starters list recognises the growth of Australian standalone companies that started trading on or after July 1, 2017, and recorded at least $500,000 of revenue in 2021-22.

The list is ranked by CAGR of revenue over the previous three financial years, the majority of which must have been generated organically and be from more than one customer.

Will Morgan and Andy Skora (above) were brand managers at Pernod Ricard before launching Fellr.

“We both had ambitions of starting our own businesses one day, and when we saw the hard seltzer market starting to emerge in the US, it dawned on us that there were no really authentic, Aussie craft brands in the ready-to-drink space,” Morgan told AFR.

The hard seltzer market in Australia grew 282 per cent in 2021-22 to become a $210 million category.

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