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Company culture provides competitive edge for Sargento Foods

Barbara Gannon (Barbara Gannon is Vice President, Corporate Communications, for Sargento Foods Inc. (
John Sterling (John Sterling is a Partner in Smock Sterling Strategic Management Consultants ( and a contributing editor of Strategy & Leadership.)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



People and culture are a core element of strategy at the Wisconsin‐based cheese processing and marketing company, Sargento Foods. Its competitive advantage stems from the capabilities and loyalty of its 1,200 employees. Three interrelated business drivers define the company’s core strategy – a focus on cheese products, a commitment to outstanding customer and consumer response, and an economic engine centered on customer profitability. This three‐pronged strategy is guided by the company’s cultural philosophy – people, pride and progress. The culture and the commitment to people is the foundation for all other strategic initiatives. For over 50 years, Sargento has translated their philosophical commitment to people and culture into meaningful long‐term action through several HR programs cited in the article.



Gannon, B. and Sterling, J. (2004), "Company culture provides competitive edge for Sargento Foods", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 31-35.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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