Mount Maunganui-based speciality pet food manufacturer, Ziwi, has won a prestigious American Chamber of Commerce award as a large exporter to the United States.

Ziwi, which has achieved phenomenal growth in the massive US market, picked up the Exporter of the Year title in the more than $10 million category of the 2019 AmCham-DHL Success & Innovation Awards.

The company began exporting the world's first air-dried pet food in 2004 and has grown to become New Zealand's largest pet food exporter and the worldwide leader in air-dried pet nutrition.

The 2019 AmCham-DHL Success & Innovation Awards judges commented that Ziwi showed a "clear, detailed strategy with innovation" embedded at its core.

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"They have taken their first-mover advantage and executed well - not only in the area of the core product itself but in 'whole of the product' as it relates to packaging, promotion, logistics and fulfilment.

"They really have worked to tick all the boxes to ensure a world-class customer journey and experience."

Ziwi's managing director, Richard Lawrence said the United States was the company's first export market and remained the largest and most developed.

"North American pet guardians have embraced Ziwi and our exceptional free-range New Zealand ingredients. We continue to invest in growing our North American business as we expand around the world," Lawrence said.

"To keep up with the demand of a rapidly expanding global footprint across more than 25 countries, we are planning a brand new production kitchen which will open in 2021."

Ziwi has gone from strength to strength since it took top honours at the 2018 Zespri BOP ExportNZ Awards, after scoring the title of Best Medium to Large Business Exporter.