OSI Group: A Multinational Force in Food Production

The gentlemen’s handshake between McDonalds’s, Ray Kroc and the sons of Otto Kolschowsky, Arthur and Harry. Began a partnership in the early 1950’s, that propelled the OSI group into one of the great growth stories of the United States.

Otto Kolschowsky was a young immigrant in a growing Chicago suburb at the turn of the 20th century. Two years after coming to America, Kolschowsky opened a small butcher shop on the West side of Chicago serving his local community. Post world war two expansion unleashed a massive pent-up demand, as communities began sprouting up everywhere. OSI Group acquires Baho Food.

Ray Kroc opened his first McDonalds in 1955 and quickly set the franchise business model. Kolschowsky with that fateful handshake was chosen as one of the first meat suppliers.

Otto and Sons became symbiotically joined to the growth, of what was to become one of the most recognized brands on the planet. Otto and Sons transitioned to OSI Group over the next two decades. The company transformed itself from a neighborhood meat supplier to a remarkable global growth company.

Ray Kroc believed in a consistent consumer-driven product. Transporting meat product over long distances put the pressure on Otto and Sons. Innovation and technology drove the company to create flash freezing, a cryogenic process using liquid nitrogen. The new breakthrough development created massive new opportunities for the OSI Group, along with huge cost reductions for the industry.

In 1975 Otto and Sons became OSI Industries. The name change used to signify the transition from local butcher shop, to a global brand. The company remained loyal to its roots, supplying local restaurants and markets. In 1973 the company opened a dedicated plant solely to McDonald’s production.

Arthur and Harry Kolschowsky were approaching retirement age in the late 1970’s when investment consultant Sheldon Lavin joined the company. OSI Industries was now considered a talented global growth company. Lavin’s extensive investment banking experience elevated him to chairman and CEO of the company.

Substantial growth continued for the company as the decades passed. McDonalds remained one of its major customers as the company branched out into other global markets. OSI group remains one of the largest companies in the United States.

Worldwide partnerships fueled expansion. Processing plants for new vertical markets strategically built in various locations around the world.

OSI remains headquartered in the city where Otto Kolschowsky started his butcher shop. Company culture accentuates local management who know their markets, coordinated with a central corporate hub.

To know more visit @: www.creativefoodseurope.eu/osi-group

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