OSI Industries has enjoyed phenomenal rates of growth over the years and have become one of the foremost food processors in the world. This private company was singled out as one of the largest by Forbes magazine in 2016. They have come a long way from a standalone butcher shop serving Chicagoans in the early 1900’s. The depth of resources and abilities of the company drive their business around the globe. They maintain more than 60 facilities in 17 countries and help feed millions.
Otto Kolschowsky was a German immigrant who founded Otto & Sons which served citizens of Chicago. They ran a butcher shop and meat market for decades and were part of the community’s fabric. They did well and eventually expanded into the wholesale meat processing industry.
A milestone for Otto & Sons was the handshake agreement with Ray Kroc as they became the first meat supplier for McDonald’s. This proved to be the catalyst for extraordinary growth in the decades to come. This early example of the franchise model allowed both companies to prosper at an amazing rate.
Flash freezing is a technological advancement that enabled Otto & Sons to provide hamburger patties to distant locations. They adopted this technology and continued to grow apace with McDonald’s. Eventually, they built a plant dedicated solely to the McDonald’s portion of business. This was in 1973 and featured the financial talents of their future CEO Sheldon Lavin. His banking and investing skills proved to be the difference in launching this endeavor.
Sheldon Lavin acquired the company when the original family retired from the business. A name change to OSI Industries happened in 1975 to better reflect their global activities. It also spoke more accurately to their reliance on technology and manufacturing abilities.
Lavin recognized early on the opportunities for global expansion along with McDonald’s. They successfully continued key relationship over the years and forged important new ones around the world as well. In 1987, OSI Industries began a joint venture in Taiwan which was their first attempt to enter the Asian market. The Philippines followed as well as China and eventually Japan. They maintain facilities throughout the region now as their expansion continues.
The abilities of OSI Industries goes beyond production manufacturing. This is evidenced by their state of the art Culinary Innovation Centers where they craft unique, fresh products for worldwide markets. There is one in Aurora, Illinois as well as Shanghai, China and both help their retail partners develop winning dishes that customers love.
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