A woman petting their cat in bed.

It’s Our Business to Keep Cats Purring

Chef is an iconic New Zealand brand that has spent over 45 years developing great cat food with a commitment to excellence and expert nutrition. Our top-notch pouches and cans have been keeping cats happy for 45 years. It's all made right here from local meat, so it's no wonder we're New Zealand's most popular brand of wet cat food, meow!

A cat standing over its food bowl, licking its lips.

It Began in Gisborne

Although Chef pet food was launched over 40 years ago, Wattie’s had actually been developing pet foods at Gisborne since 1955.

Two packages of Jellimeat and Jellichicken over a red background.

The First Product

Wattie’s first produced Chef pet food in 1969 offering a single product, Chef Jellimeat, for both dogs and cats.

Three cans of Cats Prefer Chef cat food on a white background.

Like Cat & Dog

In 1985, Wattie’s took a massive risk by withdrawing from market the grocery industry’s biggest-selling product at the time, Chef Jellimeat, replacing it with Chef for Cats, with three varieties, and Champ for Dogs, also with three great varieties. At the same time, the business was renamed Best Friend Pet Food.

A person crouching down to pet their cat with one hand, while holding a bowl of food in the other.
Expert Nutrition


The move represented Wattie’s commitment to creating a market-leading range of products designed specifically for the different nutritional needs of cats and dogs, using rigorous, globally recognised feline and canine nutrition criteria. A commitment to excellence and expert nutrition, upheld to this today.

An orange kitten sleeping on its back with paws above its head.

Cats Prefer Chef

Chef was also the first to bring NZ cats the delights of casserole-style meals. For decades the brand was also recognised for its signature song, ‘Cats Prefer Chef... Meow!’ which lingers on in the memory of Kiwis who grew up with the iconic New Zealand brand. Today Chef continues to make cats purr with satisfaction, and still enjoys being the market-leading Ambient Catfood... Meow!