The Gazette Day recently published Lisa Matthew’s article “A Century of Innovation at OSI Group” discussing OSI Industries growth over the course of a century. The company was founded by Otto Kolschowsky, a German-Immigrant who lived in Chicago, Illinois. It started as a single meat market with one butcher and grew to more than 65 locations in 17 different countries. It currently has more than 20,000 employees. Kolschowsky brought his sons into the business and became one of the first suppliers of ground beef to McDonald’s after Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the restaurant in 1940.
OSI industries quickly grew over the next two decades and improved on the food processing techniques to produces consistent but affordable products. It became even more important that the food was capable of being transported over large distances as McDonald’s began to grow. In the ‘60’s, an innovation in technology allowed foods to become processed in the “flash freezing” process that froze food by using liquid nitrogen. This reduced cost while also created room for product expansion. Soon Otto and Sons became one of the main suppliers for McDonald’s and opened their own plant created specifically to provide McDonald’s with meat.
In 1971, the company transitioned from Otto and Sons to OSI industries, indicating the change from a family owned butcher shop to the advanced company that had grown to the scale of a manufacturer. The next several decades saw the company grow on an international level. It quickly grew to markets in Germany and Spain. Sheldon Lavin became the chairman and CEO of the company in the early 1980’s and continued into a high-growth phase. It was able to grow beyond McDonald’s and into one of the largest companies in the U.S. It was listed as the 58th largest company by Forbes in 2016 with sales nearing $6.1 billion. It is currently expanding into more international markets, creating joint ventures with companies in Poland, Hungary, Mexico, Brazil and Austria. It has begun to diversify the products as well, adding pizza, sausage links, and hamburgers to the list. It has also added joint ventures with companies like JC Comsa in Japan and OJC foods in China.
OSI Industries was also discussed in the satPRnews article by Abhishek Budholiya called “Fresh Processed Meat Products Market Expecting Worldwide Growth by 2026”. The article discusses the improved technological advances in preserving meat which has created a counter culture that demands fresh meat. OSI Group buys former Tyson Foods plant in Chicago