Significant growth in global demand for its natural pet food range will see ZIWI build a new state-of-the-art processing kitchen in Awatoto, 5 kilometres south of the Napier city centre. 

The new 12,000 square metre (129,167 square ft) production kitchen will cost NZ$ 70 million and will be fitted out with the latest processing technology. The kitchen will be capable of doubling ZIWI’s current Tauranga kitchen output. It will also have new air-dried technology, which will allow the development of new product lines ensuring that ZIWI maintains its global leadership in the air-dried pet food category.

Work on the new kitchen is expected to start in August, with a completion date in September/October 2021. The company’s three Tauranga sites will continue to operate until late 2021 when production from these sites shifts to Napier and the three Tauranga sites will close. All employees at the Tauranga sites will be offered jobs at the new Napier kitchen. The company’s processing kitchen in Christchurch, and its Auckland-based sales and marketing team, are unaffected by the establishment of the new kitchen in Napier.

Managing Director Richard Lawrence said, “the ZIWI team has worked hard over many years building a strong and loyal customer base. A new state-of-the-art processing kitchen is necessary for ensuring that we can continue to meet strong global demand for our products. At the same time, it will help us to continue to improve our energy efficiency and environmental footprint.”

“ZIWI has a global reputation of crafting recipes featuring world-class, ethically sourced ingredients from New Zealand. We’re committed to continuing to offer pets and their human companions foods prepared in our new kitchens, right here in our home of New Zealand.”

“ZIWI has spent the past three years working with parties in evaluating a number of potential locations in the Tauranga region but has been unsuccessful in finding a site of sufficient size, and with the necessary infrastructure available in meeting the timeframe required.”

We realise that a transition of this nature will create some uncertainty for the ZIWI family, and the well-being of our people remains of paramount importance,  said Mr Lawrence.

ZIWI has ambition to double its annual revenue from its current base over the next 3-5 years and the new Napier processing kitchen will be fundamental to achieving this goal.