Shipping Delays Hit the Family Pet’s Dinner Plate

A global cat and dog food shortage is now being felt by Kiwi shoppers. Countdown spokeswoman Kiri Hannifin confirmed that the retail chain was experiencing cat food shortages, with Mars-owned Whiskas particularly impacted.

“The issue is both supply and shipping delays,” Hannifin commented.

“There should be plenty of other cat food from the other major suppliers. We are hoping for more consistent supply next month.”

Whiskas NZ confirmed a nationwide shortage of its pouch varieties of cat food, in a statement on its website.

“We’re working really hard to get our usual stock levels back on the shelf as soon as we can. In the meantime, we're sorry for any inconvenience this might cause you - and your fur babies!”

Previously manufactured in New Zealand, Mars closed its Whanganui pet food factory at the end of 2020 and moved production of its Whiskas cat food pouches to Thailand. In February and March, several international news publications reported on a global shortage of pet foods, particularly wet foods – the meat-based products that come in cans and pouches.

The rising ownership of pets during the global pandemic and customer stockpiling has led to a run on pet food and resulted in warnings of supply shortages that were likely to last all year, according to articles in the Guardian, Yahoo News and the BBC.

International supply chains have struggled due to reduced manufacturing, limited freight movement and higher demand for some products and shoppers have been warned that supply chain issues could cause an increase in prices on some goods.