History of Innovation
Continuing to Grow Forward
Since our founding in 1953, Sargento has been dedicated to innovation. What we do is for the love of 100% real, natural cheese and adding value for the Sargento Family. From ahead-of-its-time packaging and unique varieties, to industry firsts and industry bests.
Explore Our Multi-Media Timeline
Ultra Thin®, Ultra Successful
Sargento Ultra Thin® Slices offered consumers full-flavored natural cheese in portions that were only 45 calories.
Lou Gentine, Cheese Laureate
Lou Gentine accepted the prestigious National Cheese Institute (NCI) Laureate Award 21 years after his father received the same honor.
Louie Gentine Becomes CEO
Sargento entered its third generation of family leadership when Louie Gentine succeeded his father Lou as CEO of the company.
Striking a New Balance At Snack Time
Balanced Breaks® snacks were introduced, offering nuts and dried fruit as an accompaniment to the company’s quality cheeses.
A Sweet Break
Sargento expanded its snacking portfolio with Sweet Balanced Breaks® – a combination of the company’s natural cheeses with nuts and dried fruit and sweet surprises like dark chocolate and banana chips. A Sweet Balanced Breaks® package contained three 1.5-ounce snacks, each of which contained up to s…
Sharing the Sargento Story
Treated Like Family chronicled the unique history of Sargento and made it widely available to the public.
Sargento donated $2 million in cheese to help food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Balanced Breaks® Snacks and Mondelez
Sargento partnered with Mondelez cracker brands to offer Balanced Breaks® Cheese & Cracker Snacks.
New Truck Designs
Sargento redesigned its trucks to showcase company products and its
cultural values of humor and fun.
Leonard Gentine Finds his Calling
When Leonard Gentine, Sr. entered the cheese business, it put him on the pathway to realizing his long-held dream to own a family business.
The Plymouth Cheese Counter
Leonard Gentine’s success at selling cheese by mail led him to launch a retail store, another step towards eventually starting his own cheese-manufacturing company.
Sargento is Born!
Joe Sartori and Leonard Gentine, Sr. formed Sargento on October 23.
The First Logo
Sargento introduced its first logo, which used the Leaning Tower of Pisa to drive home the company’s early focus on Italian cheeses.
The Vacuum Seal
The company’s development of the vacuum seal changed the way people bought natural cheese.
Sargento Finds a Permanent Home
The company’s first permanent production facility was located at a former canning plant for the Elkhart Lake Canning Company.
Sargento Introduces Shredded Cheese
The company’s development of a method to sell consumers cheese that was already shredded changed the industry.
Making Cheese to Fit a Burger
Sargento introduced Burger Cheese (or Burgercheese) — cheese presliced in a circle to match the shape of a hamburger.
Meet Sammy Sargento
Sammy Sargento made his debut as the official spokescharacter of Sargento.
Sargento Wears the Crown
Sargento began using a new logo which featured a crown above the company’s name.
Sargento Becomes a Gentine Family Business
Leonard Gentine, Sr. bought out Joseph Sartori, making Sargento a Gentine family business (Pictured are Ron Begalke, Leonard Gentine, Sr. and Joe Sartori during a meeting.)
A New Way to Snack with Sargento Cheese
Sargento introduced Cracker Snacks, sliced cheese cut in cracker-sized pieces, for the first time.
Sargento Peg Bar Revolutionizes the Dairy Aisle
Sargento peg bar displays changed the way Americans shopped for cheese.
Sargento Spices Things Up with Taco Cheese
Sargento introduced Taco Cheese, adding seasoning to their shredded cheese for the first time.
Dip, Dip Hooray!
Sargento added portable cheese and sticks snacks to its MooTown Snackers product line.
Leonard Gentine, Sr., Cheese Laureate
Leonard Gentine received the prestigious National Cheese Institute (NCI) Laureate Award
Recipe Blends: Authentic. Convenient. Delicious.
Sargento introduced its Recipe Blend line, which combined different kinds of cheeses commonly called for in recipes for Mexican and Italian cuisine.
Rooting for the Home Teams
Sargento began a new era of sports partnerships when it became the official cheese of the Green Bay Packers.
Standing out from the Crowd
Sargento packaging received a refreshed design featuring the trademark burgundy color that still characterizes Sargento products in the present day.
After around 100 Sargento employees won the $206.6 million Powerball jackpot in a workplace lottery pool, most of the winners chose to continue working at Sargento, recognizing how important the company was to them.
Artisan Flavors, Sargento Quality
Sargento Artisan Blends combined Sargento natural cheeses with cheeses crafted by artisan cheesemakers.
Return to Plymouth
Sargento moved its headquarters from Elkhart Lake to Plymouth, Wisconsin.
Sargento Hits the Airwaves
Sargento premiered its first television commercial, “The Sargento Variety Show.”
Ensuring the Sargento Legacy
A restructuring of Sargento leadership ensured the company’s values would continue across multiple generations.
"Not a Big Cheese, Just a Better One"
Sargento introduced a new slogan: “Not a big cheese, just a better one.”
Sargento Enters A New Space
Always seeking ways to innovate, Sargento experimented with a prepared food product: Sargento Sour Dough French Bread Pizza.
Lou Gentine Becomes President Of Sargento
Louis Gentine became president of Sargento.
"Persnickety People, Exceptional Cheese"
When Sargento launched an iconic ad campaign focused on how “persnickety” it was about cheese, the word soon became closely tied to the company’s dedication to quality craftsmanship.
Turning on the Lite
Sargento first entered the market for diet cheeses with the Dairyland Lite line.
A Fancy New Offering
Sargento Fancy Shred Cheese was developed because of its suitability to certain cooking applications, a sign of how important shredded cheese had become to American culinary habits.
Sargento Food Service Corporation is Born!
Sargento established Sargento Food Service Corporation to provide specialized products to its food service and industrial product customers.
A First in Resealable Packaging
Sargento introduced the resealable Zip-Pak packaging for its cheeses.
New Company, New Look
Sargento formed Sargento Inc., a new parent company, and adopted a new logo.
Wholesome Snacking for Kids
Sargento offered children a wholesome snack option with MooTown Snackers, which contained 100 percent natural “packable-snackable cheese.”