Nordenia USA --the total package

Friday, March 15, 2002

By Scott Moyers

Special to Business Today

At Nordenia USA, it's all about finding a way to make a package jump off a shelf and into a shopping cart, something it has aimed to do for its entire decade-long history.

But with its recent $17 million expansion -- which created about 100 new local jobs as well as upgrade its vast system -- company president Paul Wiedlin said the packaging company is better prepared to do that than ever.

"Our attitude has always been to grow the business faster than the market's growing," Wiedlin said. "What distinguishes Nordenia from everybody else is to have photo-quality printing on a package." The expansion, completed in the middle of 2001, has nearly doubled the company's operations and helped make that "photo-quality printing" possible with a building addition, new printing press and new splitter, a machine used to cut film.

Wiedlin said his goals for what the expansion will mean are aggressive.

"I'd like us to be in the top five in North America," he said. "Right now we're not, but there's no reason that we shouldn't be." Large expansion Nordenia USA has added more than 100 new workers in the expansion of its packaging plant north of Cape Girardeau, placing the total at about 350.

Nordenia was the former M&W Packaging, which opened at the intersection of Route J and Highway 177 10 years ago.

It is a subsidiary of Nordenia International, a German corporation with manufacturing facilities worldwide.

Nordenia started out making flexible packaging for its neighbor across the street, Procter & Gamble, but has since expanded its product to many clients. Now some of their 50 or so clients -- and their thousands of products -- include Tyson Foods, Always feminine hygiene products, Chef's Choice, Halls, Shultz and other large frozen food customers.

M&W Packaging, a 1997 Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce Industry of the Year, became Nordenia USA last year. Recognitions continued last year as Nordenia was recognized in October by two industry and professional organizations for excellence and innovation in product design.

Golden Mummy Award Nordenia received the Golden Mummy Award for excellence in packaging by the Films Division of Exxon Mobil Chemicals. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in appearance, innovation and performance of flexible packaging for products that make use of Exxon Mobil films.

The award-winning design was Nordenia's Body Smarts Creamy Fruit Chews packaging.

Nordenia also received the 2001 Gold Ink award from PrintMedia magazine in the Flexible Packaging category for the design and execution of the packaging for Tyson Cornish hens. In the same category, Nordenia also won the Silver award for the Kirkland Signature Four-Cheese Ravioli packaging, and the Pewter Award for the Chlorox Fresh Step Crystals and Body Smarts Citrus and Yogurt Chews packaging.

Increased production The expansion has also increased production, though Wiedlin said it would be hard to quantify.

"Let's just say if we ran all six machines at full output, by the end of the day we'd have a parade of trucks from here to I-55 and back again," he said. "And no one gets the product on the shelf faster than we do.

We're talking a matter of days, not weeks." All of this means that Nordenia -- through its packaging -- helps its clients get their product noticed.

"We literally only have seconds to grab a customers attention when they see the package on the shelf," Wiedlin said. "If the Cornish hens in the picture look like they sat in the range too long, people are not going to buy it. We make sure it looks perfect."

Scott Moyers is business editor at the Southeast Missourian

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