New Zealand Riverland Foods Ltd is venturing into Canterbury to offer exclusive co-manufacturing services for global clients in the canned pet food industry. Led by Michael Dance and Tom Coughlan, former general managers at ZIWI, a pet food manufacturer in New Zaealand, the company disclosed plans on January 24 to establish a cutting-edge facility capable of producing 30 million pet food cans annually.

The initial investment in the facility amounts to $20 million, with the anticipation of additional investment as the plant evolves. The company initiated plans for the facility in 2022, and its slated opening is in February. New Zealand Riverland Foods is already engaged in talks with brands in North America, Asia, and Australia for the manufacturing of their products.

While expressing openness to collaborating with local dog and cat food brands in the existing $500 million market in New Zealand, the company underscored the global demand, currently valued at $104 billion and projected to reach $163 billion by 2030, surpassing the domestic market significantly. General Manager Michael Dance stated, “There is huge demand for access to modern manufacturing facilities which are both adaptable and innovative. We want to play an essential part in the health and longevity of pets and help put New Zealand firmly on the world pet food map.”

Despite having several pet food plants, mostly smaller and inclined toward their own branded products, New Zealand is being positioned by Riverland Foods as a global hub for third-party manufacturing through a facility dedicated to co-manufacturing for smaller brands.

Dance highlighted, “Not producing our own brand gives us a real point of difference. All customers are treated equally. It also provides us with flexibility to meet the changing market demands such as different product textures and formulations.”The Canterbury facility will boast various pet food textures, including mousses, pates, and chunks-in-gravy styles, appealing to the discerning tastes of cats.

Tom Coughlan, the Head of Operations at New Zealand Riverland Foods Ltd, explained that Hornby on the west side of Christchurch was chosen as the location for the new facility due to “proximity to processing plants and quality raw materials.”

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