Mark Stewart invested more than $10 million in ZiwiPeak, a small New Zealand raw petfood manufacturing company with revenues of about US$1 million at that time, but has since grown the petfood company's revenue to more than US$15 million per year and is looking to its export business to raise revenues even higher, according to a report.
The company exports 97% of its petfood products to 25 countries, Stewart said, focusing on achieving profitiability for the petfood company with revenue growth of about 60% annually.
"We've built a US$15 million export business which could be US$50 million in the next couple of years quite easily. We think from a New Zealand Inc. perspective that's a pretty good thing," Stewart said.
According to Stewart, he spends about a quarter of his time on ZiwiPeak and the rest on his other investments. He got into petfood because he wanted to invest in a food-related business, without dealing with supermarket chains. After two years of research, Stewart got into petfood because many independent stores will sell it. Since being introduced to ZiwiPeak founders, Peter and Kimberly Mitchell, Stewart has built a 45% stake.
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
Constraints and crises, like those experienced in 2020, help drive innovation and sustainability offers context.