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OSI Industries Powers Forward by Innovation


OSI Industries has cultivated a company mindset of innovation which has helped drive their consistent expansion and success as a food processor. Their international operations are characterized by a broad range of resources for food production and culinary creation. In one recent year, they were highlighted by Forbes magazine as one of America’s largest privately held companies. Their unique history makes for an interesting story as they developed over a century.

The story of America has always featured immigration as a central backdrop and the founding of what would later become OSI Industries has a starring role for a recently arrived man from Germany. Otto Kolschowsky emigrated from Germany and opened up a butcher shop and meat market. He settled in Chicago and his business started in 1909 where many other German emigrants had settled also.

His first expansion was into wholesale meats and he thrived in this way for several decades. When his sons joined the business in 1928, they were called Otto & Sons and had become a trusted community member. This configuration was successful until the business expanded with an historic handshake agreement.

Ray Kroc was working for McDonald’s and in 1955 he selected Otto & Sons to be the meat supplier to the first franchise location in Des Plaines, Illinois. Both companies expanded at phenomenal rates as the chain restaurant model was a hit out of the gate.

One example of innovation at work was the early adoption of flash freezing technology by Otto & Sons in the sixties. This new procedure enabled them to ship burgers greater distances so they could keep up with McDonald’s. They became one of only four suppliers when the supply chain of McDonald’s was consolidated.

The name change to OSI Industries occurred in 1975 and reflected the changing nature of the business. That was also the same year that key executive Sheldon Lavin took a greater role in helping the company expand globally. His banking experience and vision for growth have propelled the company for decades.

A recent example of their continued growth around the world is the merger between OSI and Turi Foods from Austraila. The potential that exists with this new arrangement is substantial according to President David McDonald. He highlighted the enhanced opportunity for innovation and a chance for greater teamwork between the two groups. This is exactly the type of strategic partnership that OSI Industries is adept at crafting around the globe.  OSI Group acquires Baho Food

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