Three Melbourne Uni students launch sustainable seltzer brand ‘Wonki’

My Nguyen

My Nguyen


Wonki – the ugly fruit-rescue beverage concept – has released a new flavour for its spiked seltzer range: Blood Orange and Mandarin.

The company’s three founders – Gabriel Tucker, Max Moolman, and Bridget Lansell – devised the idea for the Wonki business model to use local manufacturers to turn “bin-bound fruit” into delicious drinks. 

With this low-sugar substitute for standard alcoholic beverages, consumers can help Aussie farmers rescue “unwanted fruit” by supporting Wonki.

Wonki seltzers have a 4.5 per cent alcohol content. Flavours are changed according to season and the drinks are packaged in ‘Gen Z-approved’ bright, eye-catching entirely recyclable containers that provide circularity.

Growth for the company has been rapid. After the team eyed target revenue of $30,000 in April, Monash University’s “Fastrack Accelerator” program helped the project surpass $150,000 in crowdfunding earlier this year.  

Collaborating with Farmers Pick, Market Juice, Gipsy Hub for the product manufacturing process, and Dan Murphy’s as a stockist, the brand formally launched in March this year and produced the first batch of seasonally-influenced Cucumber & Lime cans in July. 

“For our Spring ‘23 second-time batch, we’ve sourced the produce from Griffith NSW. Their ‘trash’ became our treasure, with these blood oranges and mandarins being deemed too tiny for supermarket standards, or had some superficial blemishes and spots. And don’t we all?” shared Moolman.

Three Melbourne Uni students launch sustainable seltzer brand ‘Wonki’

Wonki’s Blood Orange & Mandarin release was inspired by the need to become seasonally aware to change the flavours according to the type of fruit going to waste at any one time.  

​​“Blood Orange has a short season from August to October, so this is a limited seasonal run for us,” said Max.

Wonki plans to expand its retail presence with leading liquor retailers next year.

Wonki’s Blood Orange & Mandarin batches are available for an RRP of $130 for a 24-pack, $70 for a 12-pack (online exclusively), and $26 for a four-pack in bottle shops.  


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