The new hub for premium dry pet food

by Mary Stewart, Director KC Pet Ltd, New Zealand

The new hub for premium dry pet food


Boasting an abundance of grass-fed red meat and cage free poultry New Zealand (NZ) is a mecca for super premium petfood production. The country has long held a reputation for producing quality air dried and freeze dried dog food. Both of these formats have enjoyed export success around the globe for over 15 years.

The recent establishment of a large dried petfood production facility utilising a Wenger extruder in the central north island means NZ can now seriously upscale petfood exports. When it reaches full capacity King Country Petfood in Taumarunui will produce 30,000 metric tonnes of dried petfood per annum.

A whole new world of possibilities

For Jeremy Stewart, Managing Director of the Kiwi Country™ brand, the new facility opens up a whole new world of possibility for NZ in the grain free dried petfood category.

“Kiwi Country takes all of the super-premium attributes of air dried and freeze dried, such as a high red meat content and the use of superfoods like NZ Green Mussel, liver, tripe and flax seeds, and incorporates these into a grain free dried format.”

“The feedback we are receiving from supermarkets post pandemic is shoppers are looking for more premium petfood choices,” says Mr Stewart. “Traditionally supermarket petfood aisles have been dominated by the two US owned multinationals, Mars Petcare Inc. and Nestle Purina Petcare.

“Shoppers who previously purchased food from a specialty pet store suddenly went looking for a similar product in their local supermarket over lockdown, so what we’re now hearing from category managers is supermarkets want to offer more premium petfood choices.

“Ingredients in Kiwi Country are simple, safe, sustainably produced and ethically sourced. Red meat is grass fed and free range, poultry is cage free and barn raised. Grain free recipes contain over 60 per cent NZ sourced meat and organs.

“We prioritise a good quality high protein diet so real NZ red meat and poultry are the number one ingredient in each formula. Dogs have such great noses and we’ve found the high protein focus, plus liver and tripe, highly palatable for fussy eaters and dogs with sensitivities to certain foods. No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and zero peas certainly helps with smell and taste as well.”

New Zealand is proudly non-GMO

Red meat and poultry are free from antibiotics and Hormonal Growth Promotants. New Zealand is proudly non-GMO, no fresh produce (meat, milk, eggs, fruit or vegetables) originating in NZ is genetically modified.

NZ Green Mussels and fish oil provide rich natural sources of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin

to support joint health and maintain a shiny healthy coat. Gut health and digestion is enhanced with the addition of kiwifruit, flaxseeds, cranberries and kelp. Adding essential vitamins and minerals ensures a complete and balanced diet. Kiwi Country is also 100 percent New Zealand owned.

“We have access to high quality NZ whole foods allowing us to craft premium nutritious complete and balanced petfood. We manufacture in facilities registered with the NZ Ministry of Primary Industries. Ingredients are fully traceable and carefully selected to create a petfood we are proud to call our own.”

Important ticks of approval

Kiwi Country Grain Free food meets the nutritional requirements stipulated by AAFCO (United States Association of American Feed Control Officials) and MARA (China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs).

These important ticks of approval allow the brand to be exported across all regions. The Kiwi Country name is registered in NZ, Australia, USA and China and is a verified authentic NZ brand under the Fernmark Initiative.

Future product extensions include a grain free dry food range for cats.

Source: International Petfood Publication - July 2022

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