NENI is so much more than a highly successful family company. It is in fact a truly unique gastronomic concept synonymous with lively, multicultural enjoyment in the Balagan style. Whether kebabs, falafels, hummus, Baba Ghanoush, meat, fish or vegetables, the Molcho family combines Middle Eastern and European cuisines. The exotic specialties are available not only in the family’s restaurants in Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, Zurich, Tel Aviv and on the island of Majorca, but also in supermarkets and hotels across Europe, which are supplied with salads, snacks and finger food in attractively labelled trays.  

NENI was founded and established by the Molcho family. Chef Haya Molcho, who was born in Tel Aviv, grew up in northern Germany and now lives in Vienna. She opened her first restaurant in 2009 with three of her four sons at the Naschmarkt flea market in Vienna. Since then, she has been conquering European capitals with her unique food concept. The name NENI is derived from her children’s initials – Nuriel, Elior, Nadiv and Ilan. Each of them contributes to the success of the family company, which now employs a staff of 50, and which has expanded to include other businesses such as cookbooks, catering services and home mezze meals.   

Attractively packaged home mezze meals

The gastronomic concept is as simple as it is appealing, and is based on the Balagan principle. Balagan is the Hebrew word for “chaos”. All the food comes to the table at the same time in cheerful and colorful confusion, and is shared by family members and friends. For several years, the NENI products have been offered not only in the family’s restaurants, but also as packaged products available in retail outlets in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. “When we first decided to produce hummus for a wholesaler, we made it in a garage and filled each and every individual tray by hand,” recalls Nuriel Molcho, Chief Marketing Officer at NENI. 

Urgent requirement to improve product labelling

Since then, processes have become significantly more efficient. Production and packaging are now automated and, since November 2020, handled in a new building complex in Gumpoldskirchen. “Since moving our headquarters to this site, which is located in the province of Lower Austria to the southwest of Vienna, we have set the course for significant expansion in the future,” explains Nuriel Molcho.  

As there were initially recurring malfunctions and long downtimes in the packaging and, in particular, the labeling of the cups, NENI began their search for a more efficient and, above all, process-safe solution in the summer of 2019. “The situation was aggravated by the fact that the trays were frequently poorly labelled due to the special shape of the labels. The previous labelling solution no longer met our quality requirements, and was therefore no longer suitable for the NENI brand,” adds the Chief Marketing Officer. 

Finalizing different project objectives

The individual project objectives were finalized together with MULTIVAC. In addition to minimizing disruptions and increasing efficiency, the key criteria included an attractive pack design, extended shelf life and optimum product protection, all of which would positively underscore the brand image and preserve the quality of the delicacies.  

With an eye on the ever-increasing variety of products and packs at NENI, and planned expansion in the coming years, the company also sought to achieve a greater level of flexibility in the packaging and labelling processes. Ilan Molcho, who is responsible for the company’s finances, controlling, organization and logistics, was also delighted that the costs could be reduced overall with an intelligent new solution. 

Decision in favor of full wrap labelling

The first stage was initially the installation of two full wrap labellers from MULTIVAC. The modular design of the conveyor belt labellers enables them to be ideally adapted, both technically and economically, to NENI’s various labelling tasks. Following the company’s move to its new factory in Gumpoldskirchen, a MULTIVAC T 700 traysealer was also put into service. The T 700 is suitable for packing medium-sized and large batches. It features energy-efficient drive systems, can be easily washed down and allows quick die changes. Thanks to its HMI 2.0 touchscreen user interface, operation is very user-friendly.  

The two full wrap labellers are also equipped with a MULTIVAC HMI 2.0 control terminal. The operating concept throughout the line ensures that operation is simple, fast and efficient, while minimizing any potential operating error.  

Since March 2020, both L 310 conveyor belt labellers at NENI have been used for labelling round trays with heights of 25 to 65 mm. The diameter of the highly transparent trays is 120 mm, and their lids have a recess of 3 mm. Spreads and salads, as well as antipasto and pasta, are filled into the trays, which are then labelled. The pack weights range from 125 grams to 250 grams.  

The labellers apply a full wrap label to the trays – like a banderole – at an output of 120 packs per minute. Thanks to their size and shape, the labels offer a large surface for product communication and information, while leaving the content of the pack visible.  

Further benefits of the MULTIVAC L 310

The labels are first dispensed onto the top of the pack. A press-on unit with servo drive then presses the protruding ends of the label onto the sides and base of the pack. This is performed fully automatically with maximum accuracy thanks to the precise guidance and stabilization of the packs. “The NENI concept was developed by MULTIVAC together with the tray manufacturer and label producer, so that all pack components and individual processes are perfectly matched to each other,” explains Nuriel Molcho. 

Convenient adjustment units for the label dispenser ensure it can be converted quickly to further pack formats and label sizes. If an even faster label roll change is required, one can also invest in a suitable splice table, on which the new label strip can be easily adhered to the remainder of the depleted roll.  

Excellent print quality thanks to thermal transfer printing

The conveyor belt labellers at NENI were equipped with a high-performance MULTIVAC TTO thermal transfer printer, which operates at a very high speed, and prints texts, graphics, logos and barcodes, as well as variable information such as best-before date, onto the labels at a high 300-dpi resolution. 

Thanks to their complete integration into the labelling machine control, the printing systems offer significant benefits in terms of efficient, reliable operation. Numerous operating procedures, such as loading print layouts or backup/restore functions, can be automated. The MULTIVAC TTO printers also deliver a high level of availability at low operating costs. This is achieved through the low consumption of wearing parts, a long ribbon length of up to 1,200 meters per roll, and several ribbon-saving functions. 

Perfect from A to Z

No less than 100 percent of the project objectives were met <<and at times even exceeded>>. Nuriel Molcho is also very pleased, that “the packs now look significantly higher-quality, and that slanted or partially adhered labels are a thing of the past.” In addition to the technical expertise of the MULTIVAC Sales and Service teams, he also praises their seamless collaboration with the label and tray suppliers, resulting in an ideal solution for NENI. Especially convenient is the fact the solution was developed and brought to life from a single source. “We relied entirely on MULTIVAC for this project, and we have not been disappointed at any phase.”  

The success of the project has in fact been so inspiring that, as part of their ambitious expansion plans, the Molchos would like to invest in further MULTIVAC lines in the future with their proven packaging and labelling process.