OSI Group is among the world’s largest food providers. It has 20,000 employees at its 65 facilities in over 17 countries. It has risen from a small company to a major corporate business.
OSI Group Immigrant Roots
At the start of the 20th century, there was a German-immigrant group in Chicago, Illinois. Otto Kolschowsky was a member. Otto opened a meat market in 1909 to serve the population. After a decade, his business had expanded. Thereafter, Otto & Sons continued to be a stable business.
In 1955, there was the opening of the first McDonald’s restaurant. Ray Kroc did the opening in Des Plaines, Illinois. Before this, he had made an agreement with Otto Kolschowsky’s sons to supply beef to company. Kroc would in a few years buy out McDonald’s. He would then become its CEO. As this new company grew, Otto & Sons got joined to it. Their primary task became supplying McDonald restaurants.
Two decades later, regional suppliers Otto and Sons transitioned to OSI Group. Kroc’s franchising model had a core element. It was to provide each restaurant with consistent products. Hamburgers were the core products of McDonald’s. Pressure mounted on Otto & Sons to supply affordable products. In the late 1960s, the pressure lessened. This was because of a technological breakthrough; flash freezing. This process allowed freezing of food using liquid nitrogen. Otto & Sons transitioned from one of its meat suppliers to one of its four core suppliers. This was due to their close relationship with McDonald’s.
Otto & Sons built its first plant in 1973. It included machinery for flash freezing hamburger patties. In 1975, it became OSI Industries. As the Otto sons grew older, they asked Sheldon Lavin to join as a partner.
In 1977, OSI opened a facility In West Jordan. It was their first facility outside the Chicago area. When McDonald’s became an international market, OSI wasn’t left behind.
ISO’s sprawling growth resulted in Sheldon taking the position of chairman and CEO. This was back in the early 1980s. He was an experienced investor and executive officer in the banking sector. These qualities helped OSI enter a growth face and join the list of U.S. largest companies. OSI Group’s current position is a result of expansions and joint ventures.
OSI Group info: www.creativefoodseurope.eu/osi-group