Innovating Sustainability and Transforming Industries!
Ensuring the safety, freshness, and integrity of our daily food consumption is of paramount importance. By prolonging the shelf life of perishable goods and mitigating food waste, we not only guarantee this assurance but also make significant strides towards bolstering environmental sustainability.
This generates the need for food packaging. The packaging industry plays a pivotal role in ensuring consumer safety, product quality, sustainability, market competitiveness, and economic development. Its contributions are instrumental in addressing contemporary challenges and driving positive changes in various sectors of the economy.
Sabert Corporation is at the forefront of innovation, constantly developing new products and solutions that prioritize sustainability. The company understands the importance of eco-friendly packaging materials and actively invests in research and development to create alternatives that match or surpass the performance of conventional materials while being environmentally responsible. The company, under the leadership of Stephny S. Halstead as Vice President of Marketing and New Product Development, has significantly contributed to advancing the packaging industry.
Stephny S. Halstead, the VP of Marketing and New Product Development at Sabert Corp., has been instrumental in driving innovation within the organization, particularly in the realm of new products and customer solutions. With her extensive experience and deep-rooted passion for design and aesthetics, she has played a crucial role in elevating Sabert Corporation to its current status as a billion-dollar global manufacturer of innovative and sustainable food packaging products and solutions.
Ensuring Customized Solutions
Sabert Corporation, established in 1983 by Albert Salama, initially boasted a modest portfolio comprising just five catering trays. Over the years, under Stephny’s leadership, the company has evolved into a celebrated food packaging organization renowned for its groundbreaking innovation and customized solutions. Sabert’s presence extends across seven domestic manufacturing plants, a domestic recycling facility, two state-of-the-art Advanced Development Centers, and four international locations, all supported by a dedicated team of over 3,000 employees.
With a career spanning over two decades in the packaging industry, Stephny has borne witness to the dynamic evolution of food packaging within the ever-changing food service landscape. Her educational background in fashion merchandising and design has been a foundational aspect, igniting her passion for aesthetics and materials, which she seamlessly integrates into her current role.
Transitioning from fashion merchandising to packaging marketing and subsequently into product development, Stephny has found a fulfilling channel to explore her creative interests within her career. Her journey has involved collaborative efforts with talented designers, extensive exploration of packaging materials and innovative technologies in the realm of material science, and a profound understanding of restaurant menu development and its associated operational challenges.
Overall, Stephny’s career in the packaging industry stands as a testament to her ability to merge her love for design and presentation with the intricate world of packaging, ultimately contributing to the success and reputation of Sabert Corporation.
Pushing Sustainability Forward
Today, the industry is navigating the legal complexities and heightened consumer focus on sustainability, specifically sustainable food packaging. Food packaging is an important part of the solution to some of the world’s most pressing problems of climate change, food accessibility, and consumer waste. Sabert understands its significant role in helping push sustainability forward, which is why the company has been at the forefront of providing its customers with sustainable and innovative packaging solutions for 40 years.
It has developed Earthtelligent, a sustainability platform, to ensure it continues to invest in resources and initiatives to drive improvements in environmental outcomes across the entire organization, from its manufacturing to product innovations. Out of 268 of its new products in 2022, 81% were sustainable. The company also benefits from its global footprint, which gives it the strength and scale to stay ahead of market trends and enables it to take advantage of best-in-class resources, technology, and expertise to drive continued growth.
Eco-friendly materials that can match the performance of conventional materials are often more costly. This fact can discourage some food service operators from adopting sustainable packaging, especially if operators face having to compromise between environmental and financial goals. Sabert actively seeks solutions, whether through material innovations or investing in operational enhancements, to help its customers transition to more sustainable packaging solutions in the most cost-effective ways possible. At the end of the day, its goal is to help the industry move towards a greener future and improve the consumer perception of the overall value of food packaging.
Sabert has a deep passion for food and a 40-year heritage of pioneering innovation. It’s ingrained in its identity and has been from the very beginning. At the cutting edge, the Sabert Centers for Innovation team is dedicated to advancing its existing product and process solutions and developing new ways to optimize the use of paper, pulp, and plastic in food packaging.
Sabert’s product designs originate with its in-house Sabert Design Studio, where the team collectively brings over 100 years of product design expertise. To foster innovation, the company incorporates a Blue-Sky Process, which allocates 20% of its designers’ weekly schedules to contemplate solutions for the future. This dedicated time enables them to continually brainstorm novel solutions to cater to the distinctive food packaging requirements of valued customers and partners.
An innovation Sabert is excited about is its EcoEdgeTM Paper Cutlery. This groundbreaking disposable cutlery line offers operators a viable and sustainable alternative to plastic cutlery. Derived from FSC-certified renewable resources, EcoEdgeTM Paper Cutlery achieves the same fitness for use as plastic cutlery, standing up against hot, warm, and cold foods. So far, the company has received initial positive feedback from operators that the paper cutlery far surpasses the performance of wood, bamboo, and other plant-based alternative cutlery solutions.
Elevating Brand Awareness
Sabert prioritizes safety, performance, and quality. Its experienced manufacturing team operates state-of-the-art equipment in an environment certified by BRC, enabling the company to develop high-quality food packaging that complies with global food safety initiatives. With advanced materials and innovative features, forms, and functions, its products perform at the highest levels in the most demanding conditions and competitive markets.
From performance to presentation, food packaging is a significant consumer touchpoint and can make or break someone’s dining experience. The right food packaging should enhance the experience of seeing, holding, buying, and enjoying good food. It also needs to ensure the food stays fresh and secure during transport. Sabert has also seen an uptick in its customers looking for ways to elevate brand awareness, especially now as more people are experiencing food off-premises. Custom printing, embossing, and interactive packaging features, such as audible locking systems, are great examples of how to use food packaging to enhance the consumer experience while ensuring your brand stays front and center.
Sabert believes that the best way to break into the packaging industry is to dive in and get familiar with the different aspects of the business, from manufacturing to marketing to sales. What’s ultimately important is to come to the table with a passion for the food service industry and a willingness to learn the business. Sabert has seen employees start their careers on the plant floor and move into leadership roles within the operations and manufacturing teams. Internships can be a great first step in getting started in the industry.
The customers view Sabert as a true partner. Sabert collaborates with them, listens to their needs, and delivers results. This approach is a testament to why Sabert has longstanding customer relationships spanning decades. What also makes Sabert successful is its people. The company is proud of its culture and commitment to empowering employees to grow and succeed. As a testament to these efforts, Sabert was voted one of America’s Greatest Places to Work for Diversity, for Women and Parents & Families in 2023, and one of America’s Greatest Places to Work by Newsweek.