Gisborne pet food manufacturing company PetfoodNZ is making an impact on the world stage with its new international brand, made with input from creative kids.
The Jarratt family recently returned from China where it represented the company at the Beijing Pet Fair.
Peter Jarratt from Jarratt Create and Educate said the people in China resonated with the new brand from New Zealand that has kids and creativity at the centre of it.
They achieved brand exposure for the company’s new canned pet food and connected with Petfroh, the Chinese pet food company and distributor.
Last year PetfoodNZ worked with Jarratt Create and Educate to come up with the new own brand KaiKoa.
The company tried new things like working with the Jarratt kids to come up with labels on cans and innovative marketing campaigns.
Ellen Jarratt said what made these brands so unique and exciting was they had been developed through collaboration with creative Gisborne children and PetfoodNZ staff. It has been an exercise in engagement.
“We know for sure now that customers are wanting to see brands that show ‘Why’ they are in business beyond ‘What’ they produce,” he says.
The owner of Petfroh, Zhen Zhou said, “When I saw the new brand KaiKoa my heart loved it instantly but my head was not sure if people would get it.
“Now watching the reaction of the customers my head loves it too!”
About 100,000 people attended the Beijing Pet Fair which ran from March 14 – 18.
The feedback was that China sees New Zealand as providing the highest quality products with the highest quality standards and the best ingredients, said Peter Jarratt.
The company also picked up new distributors at the show from Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Since the launch of KaiKoa in March 2018, PetfoodNZ has been accepted into the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Focus 700. This gives the company a dedicated customer manager who partners with them to tap into a global team to help achieve international growth goals.
The industry-ready education programme, Creative Leaders Unplugged, supported by Activate Tairawhiti has now been fully operational for six months with students from six local schools taking part. Their activities include training and coaching to create international marketing campaigns for the products.
Jess Bailie from Campion College said, “I’ve been part of an international marketing campaign. How cool is that!”
KaiKoa launched into USA and is now in stores in North America. It will also become available to buy online in New Zealand in May this year.
“Entering a market with a new brand is very costly and takes time to build awareness,” Peter Jarratt says.
“We have a strategy to grow the brand and this was a vital first step. We also need to stay true to our intentions of ‘doing business differently’.
“Now we need to back up the initial interest with sustainability that creates more jobs for the region and provides an unparalleled educational experience for our tamariki and rangatahi.
“As small players in a big industry we need to be smarter and more creative than the rest.
“We want to provide an international stage for our Gizzy kids and also recognise the care the factory staff put into a KaiKoa can of petfood.
“What we have found out is that other people want to follow this story too so we plan to grow the brand as a global family with Gizzy at its centre.”
PetfoodNZ managing director, Phil Moulds said, “We have seen the beginning of something very special for the region and I am so pleased to have our staff and local children joining us on this journey.”
The Jarratts said one of the highlights of the China trip was when they looked across at the trade fair and saw 8 year old Lulu being interviewed.
“It just so happens the interviewers were China Daily with a readership of 900,000 and China TV (CCTV) with one billion viewers,” Peter Jarratt said. “Lulu was explaining in plain terms how great New Zealand is and how she designed her own label. She even added parts on how she loves Chinese food.
“It was honest, from the heart and without ego. She taught us all a big lesson right there!”