How OSI Industries Grew From Humble Beginnings To International In Scope

OSI Industries has been around for over a century. It was a small butcher shop when it was founded in 1909. Otto Kolschowsky, an immigrant from Germany, started this company on the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois. As time went on he began to wholesale processed meats and continued to sell to consumers. His two sons joined this burgeoning business and it was renamed as Otto & Sons.

This company continued to grow through the years. The two sons of Otto were friends with Ray Kroc who was a franchise agent for a family in California, Richard and Maurice McDonald. They wanted to establish franchises of their restaurant in the state of Illinois. Ray Kroc opened the very first McDonald’s franchise. He chose Otto & Sons to be his beef supplier. From this partnership both McDonald’s and Otto & Sons went from pretty unknown family businesses to multinational companies with locations around the world. OSI Group buys former Tyson Foods plant in Chicago.

Advances in freezing technology in the late 1960s made it viable for McDonald’s to downsize the huge network of beef suppliers down to just a couple, one of these being Otto & Sons. They needed to build a dedicated facility solely for McDonald’s to do this, though, and a financier by the name of Sheldon Lavin was selected to find them a lending partner. This company and Sheldon Lavin continued to have a relationship after this loan was completed and in 1975 he was brought on board as a partner and the CEO. They also changed the name of the company to OSI Industries as both of Otto’s sons were ready to retire and so the name Otto & Sons no longer made any sense.

As a global food manufacturer OSI Industries now has facilities in 17 nations. Outside of the United States their first international facility was located in Germany in 1978 and another one in Spain opened in 1980. From there they expanded to other European locations and then into Asia, Australia, and South America. They offer their customers customized food solutions that are safe and consistent in quality. OSI Industries offer their customers food designed to be the correct size and shape that fits their specific needs.

Besides McDonald’s, OSI Industries today has many other customers around the world. Other customers include Starbucks, Burger King, Subway, Yum, Papa John’s, and Saizeriya. They also not offer pork and poultry products in addition to beef and have begun to branch out into other foods and sauces as well.

For details: www.forbes.com/companies/osi-group/

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