Earthwise, a maker of environmentally friendly cleaning products, climbed to the top of this year's Deloitte Fast 50 list of companies with 1004 percent growth, while mobile media specialists Snakk Media and digital agency Young & Shand, which was a Rising Star last year, made the top ten with growth of 486 percent and a 467 percent repsectively.
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"We have grown over 200 percent in the last year alone, and have launched in Australia in the past five months, so we are very eager to ensure that we have the strategy in place to fulfil our business contracts and keep our retailers satisfied," says Earthwise group general manager Rory Garvey.
The company has a range of almost 60 products it supplies into supermarkets in New Zealand and Australia, ranging from household cleaners to laundry items, baby washes and bubble baths.
The Auckland company's creator Tom Robinson formulated his first plant based product in 1964. Garvey says it wants to be one of New Zealand's manufacturing success stories and it's certainly given its main eco competitors Ecostore a good run for its money in recent years.
"We often hear that manufacturing is moribund in New Zealand but our experience is absolutely the reverse. In fact, if anything, we struggle to get the right number of quality staff to meet the huge demand."
Deloitte partner Stephen Nicholas, national leader of the Fast 50 programme, says Earthwise has transitioned from an "underground niche brand" to the commercial mainstream.
"Earthwise has done this by remaining true to their brand values while taking their mainstream competitors head on—they’re a great example of an ‘overnight success’ 50-years in the making," he says.
The second-ranked company, Wellington cloud software firm GreenButton, had equally impressive growth of 933 percent, with Christchurch software development consultant Intranel coming third with 878 percent growth.
Christchurch's Griffbuild, a building firm set up by brothers Tony and Nick Griffiths in 2007, was fourth with 780 percent growth, electronics and apparel distributor First In was fifth on 566 percent growth.
Self-serve frozen yoghurt franchise KiwiYo was named the 2013 national Rising Star (Young & Shand won this award last year).
Other businesses to make the cut were Online Asset Partners in 18th, Xero in 24th, SpaceWorks Design in 28th, Moa and McCashins in 31st and 33rd respectively, regular TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards winner Mt Cook Alpine Salmon in 37th and Plato Design Agency in 40th.
To make the cut for this year's list, companies had to achieve growth of 161 percent. Growth of at least 463 percent was required to make the top ten.
The 2013 group of Deloitte Fast 50 businesses grew the New Zealand economy by $267 million in the past three years and created 886 jobs, Deloitte says.
Nicholas noted the increase in Christchurch companies in the Fast 50 this year, up from two last year to eight this year. This year had also seen a return of smaller, lean businesses to the index, driven by technology and sustainability, he said.