The Development Of A Small Butcher Shop Into the Global OSI Industries

OSI Industries is one of the most prominent food processors on the globe despite their humble beginnings. Otto Kolschowsky started the company as a butcher shop and meat market in Chicago in 1909. In 1928 the company became Otto & Sons. When Ray Kroc opened a McDonalds in 1955, the fate of the small meat business would be forever changed. An agreement between Arthur and Harry Kolschowsky and Ray Kroc led to Otto & Sons becoming the ground beef supplier for the new franchise. Ray Kroc eventually bought out McDonalds and Otto & Sons were on their way.

During the next two decades Otto & Sons the small regional supplier was transformed into OSI Industries the global corporation. There were numerous contributing factors such as the flash freezing cryogenic process, the growth of McDonalds, new opportunities, cost reduction and product expansion. Otto & Sons dedicated the company to McDonalds in 1973 by building a plant just for their product line. In 1975 Otto & Sons officially became OSI Industries. In 75 years a family butcher shop had become a technologically advanced manufacturing and food processing company.

As the Kolschowsky family began approaching retirement, Sheldon Lavin was asked to become a part of the company. Within the next few years McDonalds went international. OSI Industries establish a presence in Germany and then Spain. They had become a multinational corporation. Sheldon Lavin took on the roles of CEO and Chairman during the beginning of the 1980’s. His previous experience became critical for the next growth phase of the business. This phase was all about international expansion. By 2016 the company had made sales for over $6.1 billion. They expanded to Mexico, the Pacific Rim, China, Hungary, Austria, Brazil, Beijing, Poland, Taiwan, the Philippines and Shanghai.

OSI Industries maintained McDonalds as a client but started bringing in additional clients. This included Starbucks, Burger King, Papa John’s, Yum, Saizeriya, Subway and Yum. In 1994 a partnership agreement was established in the United States with Nation Pizza and Foods. New plants were being opened and the growth of the company continued. The company was now additionally processing hot dogs, sausage and bacon. The 2000’s were the start of poultry processing. The expansion continued throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s into Australia and India.

The current focus of the company is the environmental impact and sustainability of modern food production. This has led to the company being the recipient of numerous awards.