ZIWI Peak pet food maker buys freeze-dry company

FDF was established in 1997 and employs roughly 140 people, FDF has over 26 million pounds of freeze-drying capacity. In 2021, China-based private equity firm FountainVest Partners acquired pet food company Ziwi Ltd., maker of ZiwiPeak brand, reported Radio New Zealand.

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New Zealand’s continued human and pet population growth present opportunities for pet food manufacturers looking to do more international business. | (ekavector | iStock.com)
New Zealand’s continued human and pet population growth present opportunities for pet food manufacturers looking to do more international business. | (ekavector | iStock.com)

ZIWI has agreed to purchase Hastings, New Zealand-based Freeze Dried Foods NZ LTD (FDF) and its subsidiary Kiwigarden LTD for an undisclosed amount. ZIWI Limited sells its air-dried raw pet food, wet pet food and treats for dogs and cats in more than 25 countries, according to Petfood Industry’s Top Pet Food Companies Current Data. All meat and seafood are sourced in New Zealand and all Ziwi products are manufactured in New Zealand. The company’s annual revenue reached US$16,320,000 in 2021.

FDF was established in 1997 and employs roughly 140 people, FDF has over 26 million pounds of freeze-drying capacity. It is continuing to invest in technology to ensure it can keep up with the growth for New Zealand produced freeze-dried products. FDF has long-term third-party manufacturing partnerships with many New Zealand brands, including subsidiary Kiwigarden which exports children’s snacks to Australia, China and North America.

ZIWI managing director Richard Lawrence says the investment in FDF is about delivering sustainable innovative growth for ZIWI, and its commitment to ZIWI-owned manufacturing providing peak nutrition without compromise. This can best be achieved with access to FDF’s patented continuous freeze-drying process. This investment builds on ZIWI’s successful brand strategy of owning and investing in processing technology to meet strong global demand for its premium product range, said Lawrence.

ZiwiPeak background

In 2021, China-based private equity firm Fountainvest Partners acquired pet food company ZIWI Ltd., maker of Ziwi Peak brand, reported Radio New Zealand. The acquisition will fund Ziwi’s further growth. Although the terms were not disclosed, the reporter speculated that the private equity firm bought the New Zealand-based pet food company for nearly NZD1.5 billion (US$1.04billion). Ziwi has sales of approximately NZD 50 million (US$35 million) annually. Despite the acquisition, Ziwi executives expect business to continue as usual.

Ziwi was founded in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand by a free-range deer farmer, Peter Mitchell, who had supplied deer meat to pet food companies internally previously, according to the company’s website.

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