Huge worldwide demand for premium natural pet food has prompted Mt Maunganui-based pet food company Ziwi to expand into the South Island this month, with the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Christchurch.
A global leader in air-dried technology and the largest New Zealand exporter of premium pet food, Ziwi is a rapidly growing $40m export-focused business and its first South Island operation will be based at Burnham.
Managing director Richard Lawrence says the new facility will double the company’s capacity within the next year, and employ more than 30 new people.
Ziwi’s slow and gently air-dried, quality New Zealand free-range meat and seafood has struck a chord with pet owners around the world wanting nurtrient-dense and digestible food for their pets, he says.
“With increasing pet ownership and a growing awareness of pet nutrition, consumers are demanding quality, nutritious meals for their pets and this has resulted in massive growth for Ziwi and the New Zealand petfood industry as a whole,” Lawrence says. “This investment in Christchurch comes on the back of three years of double-digit growth and signals another exciting chapter for the business.”
Along with the South Island expansion, Ziwi has partnered with ANZCO Foods to form a new joint venture operation producing pet treats and oral health products.
The New Zealand Natural Chews and Treats Company will also operate out of the Burnham site, producing a range of natural, premium products for export markets.
“This is ANZCO’s first foray into the pet food segment and it will be providing Ziwi with access to large quantities of premium quality, grass-fed products. The development of these treats and chews will enable the establishment of new international markets,” Lawrence says. “There is huge potential for growth and we can do it all with New Zealand-based, family-owned manufacturing operations and the very best of New Zealand suppliers.”
Ziwi exports to more than 20 countries, with its main markets in the USA, Australia and a rapidly growing China.
New Zealand pet food exports are valued at more than $120m, and have been growing at more than 10% compound annual growth rate for the past five years.
Ziwi is well-positioned to be a global leader in the industry, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise chief executive Peter Chrisp says. “Pet owners all over the planet are increasingly focusing on their pet’s health and nutrition, and New Zealand’s sustainable and authentic supply chains can deliver these benefits,” he says. “So this expansion by Ziwi is not only good for New Zealand, but is good for the world.”
Some of Ziwi’s biggest independent pet food retailers from North America as well as China’s largest pet e-commerce site operator have already visited the new facilities.
ZIWI’S PRODUCTS FOR DOGS AND CATS:
- Are made of 100% meat, seafood and green mussels sourced from New Zealand
- Are air-dried, with each piece boasting 98% fresh meat, organs, bone and seafood
- Provides a minimum of 263 calories per scoop
- Have no grains, corn, soy, wheat or rice, no rendered meat, no GMOs, antibiotics or growth promotants.