OVERLAND PARK, KAN. — ZIWI LTD, the New Zealand-based owner of ZIWI Pets, announced Sept. 1 it has acquired Freeze Dried Foods NZ LTD (FDF) and its subsidiary, Kiwigarden LTD. Both companies are based in Hastings, New Zealand, and their capabilities are expected to stoke growth for ZIWI Pets’ air-dried and freeze-dried pet nutrition products.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

FDF was founded in 1997 and remains the largest freeze-drying operation in the Southern Hemisphere, according to ZIWI. The company operates more than 12,000 tonnes of freeze-drying capacity and maintains long-term partnerships with several third-party manufacturers, including Kiwigarden, a producer of premium snacks for children. Kiwigarden currently exports its products to Australia, China and North America.

According to ZIWI, FDF employs roughly 140 people and has continued to invest in its freeze-drying technology to meet increasing growth in the category.

Brian Edwards, founder and majority shareholder at FDF, noted his company shares similar core values as ZIWI, including teamwork, integrity, and a focus on the customer. Following the transaction, Edwards said it will be “business as usual” for FDF’s team.

“The investment in FDF is about delivering sustainable innovative growth for ZIWI, and our commitment to ZIWI-owned manufacturing providing peak nutrition without compromise,” said Richard Lawrence, managing director at ZIWI. “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 our premium product range.”

ZIWI sustainably sources its ingredients in New Zealand, including from several suppliers in the Hawke’s Bay region, where FDF and Kiwigarden are located. This acquisition, coupled with ZIWI’s state-of-the-art manufacturing expansion in Awatoto, are expected to fuel continued growth for the pet nutrition company.

Following a ground breaking announcement in July 2022, production at the Awatoto facility has officially kicked off. ZIWI estimates the plant will be running at full production by late 2022. Once fully operational, the facility will employ 120 people and ship approximately 1,000 containers per year through the Port of Napier.

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