Ziwi Peak Air Dried Chicken

Ziwi Peak Air Dried Chicken Review – Still the best? (2024)

Last Updated on June 17, 2024 by Indy the Cat

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If there was a brand that was most synonymous with premium New Zealand pet food, it would probably be Ziwi Peak. We rarely see the brand not mentioned as a top choice for premium cat foods.

Ziwi Peak began in 2002 under founder, Peter Mitchell who was supplying quality meat products for other pet food companies. Unfortunately, he saw his high end ingredients mixed in with cheap fillers and carbohydrates to make highly processed dry cat food (check out our article on dry food!).

As a pet owner himself, he wanted to do better, so after much experimentation, he founded Ziwi Peak, which focused on capturing the benefits of the raw diet while transforming it into a modern convenient pet food. Consequently, their signature air dried cat food is a product of his commitment to better pet nutrition.

Much like Feline Natural, Ziwi Peak sources high quality products from New Zealand focusing on free range sustainable ingredients. You will find plenty of named ingredients alongside unique sources for essential vitamins and minerals. With products spanning air dried pet food, canned wet food, treats and oral chews, Ziwi Peak has products for both canines and felines.

Beyond high end ingredients, the pet food manufacturer has a strong focus on ethics such as animal welfare and sustainable practices. Ziwi Peak also meets AAFCO standards and all their product lines follow the company mantra of being GMO free, antibiotic free, grain free, and free from sugars or glycerins (a controversial ingredient due to its sourcing and artificial nature).

In 2021, Chinese private equity firm, FountainVest Partners reached an agreement to purchase Ziwi Peak pet foods. While the business claims it will remain business as usual, it is uncertain how this may impact the company and its products in the future.


To date, Ziwi Peak cat food has not been recalled. In Australia, pet food recalls are only mandatory for brands that have decided to work within the Australian Standard for Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food (Standard AS5812:2017). All members of the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia comply with these standards and at the time of publishing, Ziwi Peak is not a member of the Association. 

Product Line Commentary

Today, we are looking at the Ziwi Peak Air Dried Free Range Chicken recipe. Air dried food is considered their signature food style and Ziwi Peak are one of the pioneers in this revolution. Upon examining the food, you will notice that the texture of the food is very different from standard kibble and looks more like small pieces of jerky. In addition, the pieces are also larger so you may find your cat has to chew more to digest the food (which is good for their teeth!).

Like all their dry food flavours, this is an all stages formula that can be fed to kittens, adults and senior cats. The main protein in the recipe is not surprisingly… chicken! As mentioned above, all of Ziwi Peak’s formulas have a focus on free range animals, and in this case, free range chicken.

The Original New Zealand Premium Cat Food

Ziwi Peak is the the OG of New Zealand premium pet food. Predating Feline Natural and all the new brands that have hit the market in recent years, Ziwi Peak led the way long before natural pet food was mainstream. Still manufactured in New Zealand, they continue to lead the way in the high end pet food space.

With a clear focus on high quality sustainable natural sources, all key ingredients in this recipe are clearly identified, which will set them apart from the majority of other cat food brands. Furthermore, we always love to see the inclusion of named proteins like chicken over generic lower quality sources such as chicken by-products or chicken meal. That being said, some protein sources often get a bad rap that isn’t entirely deserved (we’ll be doing an article in the future on this!).

Top notch ingredients with minimal carbs

As we go down the ingredient list, we’ll also see chicken liver, chicken heart and chicken bone. By including various parts of the chicken, Ziwi Peak achieves a more wholesome and nutritious profile for this cat food. Chicken bones, for example will be a good source of calcium, magnesium and other key minerals. Similarly, offal inclusions are always great to see as it mimics the raw diet and provides natural sources of essential vitamins and minerals.

The other signature ingredient in their cat food is the inclusion of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels. One of the first, if not the first to do it, this luxury ingredient is a great source of omega 3’s and can provide natural anti-inflammatory benefits.

Further examination of the ingredient list reveals that it is very close to the chicken wet food recipe, but there are noticeable improvements. There are no vegetable sourced proteins and as cats are obligate carnivores, it’s always great to see that. Moreover, unlike the wet recipe, the carbohydrate content is a non existent 1% of the food. With no chickpeas and only meat protein sources, the overall macro profile of the Ziwi Peak dried chicken formula is a winner over their wet formula.

The breakdown shows it would be considered a well balanced high protein, high fat and very low carbohydrate cat food.

Guaranteed analysis

Crude Protein (min) – 38%

Crude Fat (min) – 30%

Crude Fibre (max) – 2%

Moisture (max) – 14%

Ash (max) – 12%

Dry Matter Basis

Essential Vitamins and Nutrients Percentages

If you are interested in a full nutrient profile including percentages of vitamins, minerals and amino acids – see this pdf.

Where to Buy and Cost

Most online pet stores carry Ziwi Peak dry cat food and this chicken formula is a common flavour. At the time of publishing, it can be found at leading retailers including: Petbarn, Pet Circle, Petpost, and Amazon.

Ziwi Peak air dried cat food is usually seen priced around $35 for 400g bags and $70 for 1kg bags. Thus, this comes in at an expensive price of $0.09/g (400g bag) and $0.07/g. However, this doesn’t paint the whole picture, as we need to consider how calorie dense this food is. At 5500 kcal/kg or 5.5 kcal/g, this is a very nutrient dense food compared to traditional kibble, which often falls around 4 kcal/g. Subsequently, you can feed less of it per meal. In addition to that, while we are giving average prices, we do find that Ziwi Peak has a very wide price spread across different stores and websites.

As this is a dry food, we do not feed this everyday. It is feed primarily as a topper to meet his daily caloric needs during occasional meals. Roughly, this may compose of less than 10% of his total weekly intake. As always, being able to have a premium food in their diet is one of the many benefits of building a rotation diet! You can still feel good about feeding premium food as part of their routine without constantly breaking the bank.

Ingredient List

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Chicken Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Salt, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, Taurine.

Nutritional Information

Chicken – source of meat protein

Chicken Liver – source of meat protein and as an offal, it offers a natural form of essential vitamins/minerals

Chicken Heart – source of meat protein

Green Lipped Mussels – source of omega 3’s, anti-inflammatory benefits

Chicken Bone – source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus

Lecithin – numerous cited benefits including an antioxidant, improving vitamin absorption, aiding hairballs and more. One thing to note is that the source of lecithin can be controversial (for example, soy derived lecithin may have GMO origins)

Inulin – Prebiotic that aids with digestion, immune function and nutrition absorption

Dried Kelp – source of magnesium, protein, Vitamin A, iodine, bromine, and phosphorous. Minor source of fibre

Dipotassium Phosphate – source of phosphorous

Magnesium Sulfate – source of magnesium

Zinc Amino Acid Complex – source of zinc

Copper Amino Acid Complex – source of copper

Iron Amino Acid Complex – source of iron

Manganese Amino Acid Complex – source of manganese

Sodium Selenite – source of Selenium. Sometimes mentioned as a controversial ingredient, but from our research, the only conclusive problems would be from ingesting it in large amounts.

Salt – source of salt (interesting inclusion as we would have thought there is enough natural sodium in some of the other ingredients such as the offal)

Citric Acid – preservative specifically for fats

Mixed Tocopherols – natural preservative

Choline Chloride – source of choline

Thiamine Mononitrate – source of thiamine

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride – source of Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)

Folic Acid – source of Folic acid (Vitamin B9)

Vitamin D3 Supplement – source of Vitamin D3

DL-Methionine – essential amino acid – relevant for skin and fur health as well as eyes, hearts and other vital organs

Taurine – essential amino acid 

Indy’s Review

So does Indy the cat like it? 

Yes, Indy enjoys Ziwi Peak Air Dried Chicken food and had no issues adding it to his diet.

As a topper, it was easy to add a little bit to his diet without disrupting his primary diet. Also, the texture and size of the food gives Indy the opportunity to chew and work his teeth.

Clearly one of the highest quality dry foods on the Australian market, it’s an easy recommendation to add this one to your cat’s diet!

The good

  • Excellent meat/protein sources with quality named ingredients
  • Very species appropriate food with no vegetable source proteins
  • Basically no carbohydrates
  • Grain free without similar substitutes 
  • Air dried versus traditional kibble processing methods
  • Quickly adopted by Indy in terms of palatability 
  • Very calorie dense so you can feed less food while still meeting calorie needs

The bad

  • Very expensive
  • Still a dry food that can be dehydrating if it is the primary food in the cats’ diet
  • A few ingredients that are tied to controversy
  • Recently sold to foreign investors which could alter the future of Ziwi Peak (we will monitor closely for any possible changes…)


  • Species appropriate (weight 0.3) – 10 / 10
  • Ingredients (weight 0.3) – 9 / 10
  • Recall Track record (weight 0.2) – 10 / 10
  • Price (weight 0.2) – 7 / 10

Average Score – 9 / 10

Weighted Score – 9.1 / 10

The Bottom Line: One of the best dry cat foods on the market compared to traditional dry kibble. Indy the Cat approved!

If you spot an error in this article, please do not hesitate to let us know!

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