Sargento Foods, Inc.

SargentoSargento Foods, Inc. is a cheese manufacturing company based in Wisconsin in the U.S. The company manufactures custom made cheese for restaurants, and sliced, diced, and shredded cheese for supermarkets.

History
Sargento Foods, Inc. was founded by Leonard Gentine in 1949. It was his passion for cheese that inspired him to start his cheese business. In 1953, Joseph Sartori became a partner, and the two formed the Sargento Cheese Company. After conducting many experiments, the company produced a method to vacuum pack the cheese thereby increasing its shelf life. In 1958 the company becomes the first to start manufacturing shredded cheese.

In 1965, Gentine purchased the interest of Sartori, returning the company to being a single-family owned business. He also changed the way his cheese was sold in the supermarkets, suggesting the use of peg bars to place his cheeses at eye level. By 1979, the company started supplying cheese to restaurants and other food companies. Sargento also started producing cheese in various forms including sliced, diced, shredded, breaded and grated cheese.

In 1986, the packaging was revolutionized by the introduction of zippered bags. The customers embraced the idea as they could keep their cheeses fresher for longer. It also introduced cheese snacks for kids in 1988, which became a big hit among children. Three years later, reduced fat cheeses reached the market. Initially, the company produced seven new varieties. A new manufacturing plant was also built in Kiel, Wisconsin in 1993 to meet increasing demand. In 1994, cheese blends started to appear on the supermarket shelves. Over the next couple of years, more products were introduced.

By 1996, the company started adding more flavored cheeses to its product line. This included Provolone, Italian, and Mexican flavors. It also started the production of more varieties of cheese snacks. The character “Mo” was also introduced during this time. Moreover, the company made a decision to produce cheeses fortified with calcium. They also made sure that one serving of cheese contained 8 ounces of milk. In an attempt to increase the shelf life of cheeses, they came up with another innovative technology in packaging and named it ‘Slide- Rite’. In 2003, the company received a Gold medal for the Best Tasting Cheese. The medal was awarded by the American Tasting Institute. Over the next few years, Sargento focused on the introduction of new flavors.

Stats
Company headquarters: One Persnickety Place, Plymouth, WI, USA
Ownership: Private
Number of manufacturing plants: 4 (Kiel, Elkhart Lake, Plymouth, Hilbert)
Annual revenue: $100 to 500 million
Number of employees: 1,300
Geography: USA
Demography: Natural and Organic

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3 Comments

  1. Charley Frick September 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    I have arthritis bad, and even if the wrapper is stripped(open)…I have a hard time opening the zip lock seal. There are times I have to give up! Please give consideration and devise an easier zip lock.

  2. SAMUEL MILLER December 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    Sargento Cheese one of the best on the market anywhere and no one can disagree on that. Two weeks ago was the first time for me to ever try this Cheese out, but i will certainly be buying more of it now. I am on disability and only make so much per month, do you think that perhaps you could send me a one time free coupon? At this time just about anything will be greatly appreciated, especially with Christmas just around the corner. I was born with Epilepsy and i did work for one company for 37 years, then they closed down so i lost my job, i tried to find another but with my medical conditions no one would even talk to me about a job, so i am asking for your help, and i know that many people will take advantage of you if they can but i am not one of those people, i was not raised that way and i do not believe in doing people wrong. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS. Samuel

  3. LEW COBEN June 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    The wrappers on your cheese strip treats are IMPOSSIBLE to open unless you have a knife or scissors. Try repackaging them ith a perforater tear strip down the side.

    we elders and diabetics would certainly buy more of the good cheeses.

    Also try gettting more variety into HEB Stores in Texas.

    Thanks

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