World Cup expansion expected to add 25 jobs

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World Cup Packaging is undergoing an 18,000-square-foot expansion in South Beloit. It will be completed this spring and offer new jobs in the area.

World Cup Packaging began its fourth expansion last week, a move which will more than triple the business’s footprint in South Beloit.

The 18,000-square-foot expansion to the north of the facility will be completed in April and is expected to usher in 25 new jobs, said President Bob Seay.

“It opens up our capacity to bring in more customers,” Seay said.

In 2010, the company added on its third expansion, 7,500 square feet at its facilities at 14392 De La Tour Drive, South Beloit.

Seay said business continues to grow, thanks to the company’s quick turn-around times.

World Cup Packaging manufactures packaging machines which are either sold or used in the packaging of its products at World Contract Packaging Inc. Seay said that World Cup’s success can be attributed to their close involvement in the design, production, installation and after-sale support of the equipment produced.

General Manager Brian Kenny said the business is driven by customer demand. With equipment on site as well as an engineer, new machines can be made on site and a product can be immediately packaged.

“At the drop of the hat I can go 24 hours a day and I’ve done it many times,” Kenny said. “We just put together a line in a week-and-a-half to package almost a million cups.”

“We get the job done faster, and respond a lot faster than our competitors,” Seay said.

World Cup built a new facility and moved back to South Beloit in the summer of 2003. In 1992 Seay started World Cup and in 1996 started Cup Pac, which was later sold.

Seay stayed with World Cup in a management capacity until 2001 when the consolidated group was put up for sale. Seay and Tom Grossner bought World Cup from the group and have continued to build a strong business ever since.

Kenny was brought on board about three years ago and has helped the business grow. He started taking on new projects, and courting new business. Some of the hottest projects now are packaging portions of cereal and clarified butter.

Many of World Cup’s products can be packaged into inter-stackable cups or containers. The types of products packaged include: dairy foods, dry goods, candies, juices, sauces, putties and compounds, desserts, salads, yogurts, salsa, seeds, pet food, medicines, powders, syrups, granular products, cookie dough, caramel corn, granola and more.

Some of the more popular food trends now are portion-sized bottled salad dressings, powdered gelatins, granola toppings and pancake syrups. Packaging of organic and kosher foods is also popular.

The packaging side of the business has grown the most, tripling in the past year with 60 percent of sales being new. About three-fourths of World Cup’s building is devoted to packaging, with the remaining quarter set up for building packaging machinery.

The machine manufacturing portion of the building accounts for about 20 percent of the business and has shown growth as well. Often times the companies grow so big, like GNC and Steak n Shake, that they end up moving their packaging operations in-house and buy World Cup machinery to do it.

Kenny said the packaging side of the business expanded from two to five lines this past year, covering everything from liquids to dry ingredient packaging. With the new expansion, World Cup can add additional lines and have plenty of room to house the packing materials and food coming in daily.

Seay said he works with Stillman Bank of Roscoe to fund the project. Prior to that Seay had never borrowed money to invest in his growing business.

The company has also been able to grow by word of mouth, having no sales people on staff.

Seay and Vice President Tom Grossner plan to hold an open house to celebrate the new expansion once its completed.

Due to increasing customer demand, Seay anticipates the company will eventually outgrow its latest expansion in the future. With Seay owning five acres of land in another area of the South Beloit Industrial Park, he said there is plenty of room to grow.

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