Global Expansion and Innovations at OSI Industries

The OSI Group is arguably among the most extensive food suppliers globally having employed over 20,000 workers in their 65 facilities across 17 nations. The food company has immigrant roots and has risen from humble beginnings to become a global player in the food business. The founder, Otto Kolschowsky was a German immigrant from Chicago, IL. Only two years after entering the States, in 1909, Kolschowsky started a butcher shop and small retail market for meat to serve his immigrant community. By the end of the World War I, Kolschowsky had marvelously grown his business into a wholesale entity. Kolschowsky rebranded his business to Otto & Sons in 1928.

In a critical development, Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald’s establishment in 1955 in Des Plaines, IL. Beforehand, Ray had agreed with Harry and Arthur, sons of Kolschowsky to be the primary supplier of fresh ground beef to the franchise. In the next two decades, the Otto & Sons firm had transitioned from a regional supplier to the current global corporation, OSI Industries. The relationship and partnership between the McDonald’s and the OSI were symbiotic, which propagated their mutual growth and development. In the following years, the adoption of technology, in particular, the flash freezing created new opportunities for cost reduction and product expansion for both the industries. The company traded as Otto & Sons until 1975.

The transition to a global supplier saw changes to Otto & Son management with Sheldon Lavin joining the entity as a partner in 1975. In response to the astonishing growth of the McDonald’s, OSI started expanding through opening facilities in various regions, including West Jordan, Utah. The McDonald’s and OSI made a joint venture to enter the international market getting into Germany in 1978 and Spain in 1980. With the growth phase resulting from this transition, OSI industries automatically became among the largest firms in the US and were ranked number 58 in the 2016 Forbes list of most significant, privately owned companies with sales of over $6.1 billion.

The current position of OSI Group as among the vital global food providers is built on a series of well-informed joint ventures and expansions in areas such as in Mexico, Brazil, Hungary, Austria and Poland among other regions. Over the past decade, OSI Group has continued to grow and set industry standards with excellent products like pizza, sausage and hamburger patties. Prospectively, the firm will witness continued growth especially in the newly found market in Europe and Asia. The OSI Group history entails superior client relations, early recognition and adoption of growth opportunities and technological innovation and it is the history that is attributed to the company’s overall success.

How OSI Group has Expanded Over the Last Year

OSI Group, LLC, is a privately held food processing company that is based in Illinois. It was founded in 1909 by a German immigrant and eventually became one of McDonald’s largest suppliers of fresh beef. In the 1970’s the company was purchased by Sheldon Lavin who has since served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, the company has greatly expanded, including internationally. According to Forbes, OSI Group in now the 58th largest private company in the United States.

In the last year, OSI Group has made two big acquisitions in Europe. The first occurred August 2016 when it was announced that they had bought Baho Food, a large Dutch food processing company with processing plants in both the Netherlands and Germany. This gave OSI Group not only more production capacity in Europe but also extended the reach of their products into 18 European countries. It also added the types of food they offer in Europe as Baho Food’s products complimented OSI Group’s offerings very well.

The other large acquisition of the last year was announced in December 2016. OSI Group bought Flagship Europe which is located in the UK. This was another great acquisition for OSI Group as their processed food also complements what OSI Group was already providing in this important market. Among the processed food that Flagship Europe sells is sandwich fillings, sauces, dips, and marinades.

Expanding the company’s production capacity in the United States, OSI Group also bought a production facility in Chicago that had been owned by Tyson Foods. The facility was purchased for $7.4 million and, as it is close to other OSI Group facilities in the area, adds to their tight infrastructure in the area. Most of the Tyson Food employees at the plant were offered jobs with OSI Group.

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