How Sargento created a product with $50M in first year revenue

However you slice it, Sargento Foods has a pretty impressive track record in innovation.

ultrathing-sargentoFounded in 1953, the privately-held Plymouth, Wisconsin-based company is responsible for the first vacuum packaged cheeses, the first packaged shredded cheeses, the first zippered closure for cheese, and many other product and packaging innovations. This market leader, which currently reports net sales of over $1 billion, even pioneered peg bar merchandising in the dairy case, putting cheese at eye level and within easy reach for shoppers.

Earlier this year, Sargento scored once again, winning a 2014 U.S. Breakthrough Innovation Award for its Ultra Thin Slices, one of only 14 products that Nielsen selected from a starting field of 3,463 launches. Ultra Thin, which serves up “full flavor” cheese in fewer than 45 calories a slice, cleared $50 million in sales in its launch year, and doubled in year two.

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