All the red meat animals (lamb, beef and venison) in New Zealand spend their life freely roaming in grass and eating grass.  Feedlots and inside feeding is not popular or necessary in New Zealand. 

In the US, animals only need to be grass fed for a short period at the end of their life to be called grass fed.  In New Zealand, the animals are grass fed for life.

For more information on the New Zealand meat industry please see below:


There is not a defined definition.  The chickens we source are freely roaming within a controlled environment.  Morally we would prefer a free-range chicken, but in New Zealand we have found that free range chicken is of significantly greater risk of Salmonella.  In the cage free barn raised chicken, the controlled environment means the risk of Salmonella has largely been removed.  One of the key reasons for this would be the roof, which greatly minimises the chance of bird droppings (a common carrier of Salmonella) entering the food chain.  We have been testing the chicken raw material for over 5 years and we have never found Salmonella.  The chickens are still ethically treated, so it is close to a free-range environment.

Our Sodium levels were not high enough to fit with the AFFCO requirements for Growth and Reproduction.  We used salt as the supplement to fulfil this requirement – it is a very natural form of sodium.

We put blackcurrants in the food which have very high levels of antioxidants.  It is an ultimate Superfood.  The blackcurrants have a very strong dark purple colour.  When added to the meat-based product, it has a dramatic effect on the colour.  With the level of blackcurrants we use, it changes the predominately red or pink colour to a grey.

It is our opinion that it is impossible to create a complete and balanced food where you are confident all the vitamins and minerals reach the AFFCO requirements without some form of supplementation.  Also, many of the minerals are in low quantities but their existence in the raw material used in the food is volatile – it often depends on the soil that the grass is grown on.  As an example, in many parts of NZ, selenium levels are low in the soil.  Animals that feed from this soil will be lacking in selenium.  This will be the same in all parts of the world – the soil will be low in certain minerals.

To be safe, we decided to supplement with minerals.  In developing the vitamin and mineral pack we ensured the vitamins and minerals were in a natural form.

We use either Ling or Hoki.  Both are very sustainable fisheries from the cool deep waters surrounding New Zealand.  The fish oil is from Hoki.

3% which is very high for an inclusion rate in pet food.  Often the percentage of GLM is well below 1%.  We use the whole mussel whereas many pet foods use a by-product of the mussel industry which has limited nutritional benefits.  Mussels are very sensitive to heat so that’s why Freeze Drying is superior.  Pet food that uses heat and has mussels in the product destroy a lot of the nutritional benefits of the mussel.

Please see our description of Superfoods on our website.

The function of Gelatine is to retain the shape of the food.  It is derived from Beef and is largely a collagen-based protein.  So, it does help with protein levels, while collagen has benefits.


Step 1.  Blend the raw materials together

Step 2.  Freeze down into 50lb blocks

Step 3.  Dice into cubes at -12 degrees (10F) and place into large bins

Step 4.  Freeze Dry

4a.  Drop temperature to -40 C (-40F)

4b.  Create a vacuum

4c.  At some point sublimation occurs where water becomes steam (misses liquid phase).

The main benefit is that water is extracted from the product without the use of heat.  Heat destroys nutrients, so the freeze-dried product has more beneficial nutrients.   See our website for more information.

Every batch gets tested for Salmonella, Listeria and Ecoli.

Yes, it is.  The NZFSA (or commonly called Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI)) are a Government run entity that monitors all companies that export from New Zealand.  They independently audit every facility and issue the health certificates that accompany every shipment.  So, they are guaranteeing the food is of a standard to be exported.  They also assure what the company says is in the food, is in the food.

Through the process there are various processing plants as there are many raw materials that are sourced from these plants.  All the plants are export certified by MPI.  The easiest way to assess the standard is to look at the quality control and standards at the last place of manufacture, as everything prior to this, must meet these standards. This place is Freeze Dried Foods (the freeze-drying facility) in Hastings New Zealand.

Pet Nutrition NZ Limited Partnership (PNNZ) was founded by Calvin and Jo Smith. It is a family based business with strong family based values and they are animal lovers having two dogs and two cat.  They are also passionate about nutrition and passionate about New Zealand, hence the phrase New Zealand in a bowl.  

Kiwi Kitchens was developed as a collaboration with the management team at Pet Food Express, specifically with the goal of providing a unique freeze-dried range that was both nutritious and more affordable.  The New Zealand origin was important, hence the name.  “Kiwi” is commonly referred to as the famous fruit, but it is also the name of the people from New Zealand and a unique flightless bird that is only found in New Zealand.

We firmly believe New Zealand produces the best quality food in the world.  Kiwi Kitchens purpose is to bring this food to your dog in a bowl.

The most common question we get. This is primarily just customers looking for free product but can also be because our products are relatively expensive compared to an average kibble. Mention that we are not able to supply coupons as we are a supplier and cannot ship orders directly to customers. However, if they mention a location, you can prompt them to investigate a store to see whether they do coupons.

Easily one of the most frequent questions we get is from locations where we do not supply but they have found our product and are interested in trying them out. (Check the website’s Where to Buy page to confirm locations)

For USA states where we do not supply the easiest response is to mention that we do not supply there but reinforce that we are always expanding. Also mention All the Best Petcare as they have the largest range and ship all over the US.

For other countries, just be transparent.

Quite common question as inorganic sources of Phosphorus, like Dicalcium Phosphate can be harmful to cats with kidney disease. However, in our products the phosphorus content comes from the raw materials and thus is completely safe to feed.

It is a Mixed Species but over 90% of it is Hoki.  The reason it is mixed species is that it is very difficult to determine that just Hoki is in the Oil.  To be 100% sure, the price of the Fish Oil would be significantly more.  All the fish however have been caught off the coast of NZ.

Quite often customers ask us to give the energy that comes from each macronutrient (Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates and occasionally fibre) for a particular product. The key is that we use Modified Atwater, which says that Fat has 8.5kcal per g, and Protein and Carbs have 3.5kcal per g. Refer them to the Product Information sheets on our website for percentages of each Macronutrient.

As we do not test for Carbohydrates in any of our products, we quite often get asked about the carbohydrate content in the dinners. A common way people calculate is by adding each value in the guaranteed analysis and subtracting that from 100 as that finds the remainder and implies the carb content. This is inaccurate due to the guaranteed analysis being Min and Max values. For each of our products, the wet foods contain little to no carbs, only remnants from the raw materials. In the dry diets, there are some carbs in things like flaxseed and vegetable glycerine, but again these are in very low quantities.

Quite often we get questions regarding the differences between the dog and cat dinners, primarily in cans. This can be due to either inconsistent supply or due to the customer wanted a larger 13oz can for their cats. The only difference that matters is the Taurine content, in the Cat Dinners, Taurine is added in the premix and in the Dog Dinners it is not. This is because Dogs can synthesise the Taurine in their systems with two other Amino Acids whereas cats cannot. So, in summary.

  • It is completely safe for a Dog to eat the Cat Dinners.
  • We do not recommend a Cat eat only the Dog Dinners, there is some Taurine naturally present but for consistently just say that we do not recommend this.

As Vegetable Glycerin is high on the ingredient panel for our Air-Dried products, customers can be concerned with it as it implies that it is present in high amounts. Glycerin accounts for 3% of the recipe, it comes from Palm Oil. We do not use it as a binder. It is instead used to make the product softer which we believe is important for palatability. Nutritionally it is neutral – not good or bad.

We quite often get inquiries where a person will mention that their pet has gone from one product to one of our products and the pet has had some issues (Diarrhoea or softer stool). Here it is best to reinforce that a pet should be slowly transitioned between products over a 7-day period. This should be implemented for almost all changes in diet from Protein changes to flavour changes to sku changes (Air-Dried to Freeze-Dried).

Since Ziwi and Kiwi Kitchens Air-Dried Dinners are very similar we often get inquiries about the differences between the two. Ultimately, they are very similar products (high meat content, Air Dried, etc) the main difference that is worth bringing attention to is the difference in texture. KK Air-Dried has a softer texture than Ziwi, making it more palatable overall.

Ask the customer in question for relevant details not provided (E.G. Reason for Return, Best Before Date or Batch Code, Images of the product in question). If unsure of issue with the product, check with Calvin and Melinda. 

Issues are highly unlikely due to Test and Release policy. All batches are tested before they are sent overseas. If there is an issue, forward to Neethu to investigate.