Scarlettie Books

The meteoric rise of OSI Industries

OSI Industries is one of the global food providers. It currently operates in 17 countries with 65 outlets and 20,000 employees. It growing presence can be felt in the ever-changing modern economic story.

Otto & Sons’ Birth

Its history starts with Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant of the community that comprised a quarter of Chicago’s population then. Kolschowsky opened a butcher shop and small meat market in 1909 in Oak Park. He expanded from retail to wholesale and in 1929, rebranded his business as Otto & Sons.

From Otto & Sons to OSI Industries

In 1955, Ray Kroc started the first McDonald’s hotel, under a franchise agreement. Before this, he had agreed with Arthur and Harry, sons of Otto Kolschowsky, to be the original fresh ground beef supplier of the franchise.

After a few years, Ray became the CEO of McDonald’s and as the company grew, so did Otto & Sons. In the next decades, Otto & Sons had to ensure consistent products throughout the McDonald’s restaurants. It became among the four suppliers of the franchise and in 1973, built its first factory solely dedicated to McDonald’s. In 1975, Otto & Sons changed to OSI Industries, signaling the transition of leadership and change from a butcher shop to manufacturing company.

Sheldon Lavin joins the company

Sheldon Lavin joined the company in 1975 as a partner. He previously served as the investment consultant, assisting in their capitalization efforts. McDonald’s ventured into the global market, and they followed. It became a multinational through acquisition in Spain and Germany. The international growth led to Sheldon Lavin becoming the CEO and chairman in early 1980s. As a banking executive and banker, his experience became important in enabling the company venture other food industry sectors.

OSI Industries Expansion

It entered a joint venture with GenOSI and K & K Foods in 1990 and1987 respectively. It made acquisitions across the world and by the end of 2010, OSI Industries was operating a worldwide network of processing factories. It has made significant strides especially in Europe and China where it has continued its global expansion. Research and development have also facilitated its growth. Since 2010, it has founded Culinary Innovation Centers in Illinois and Shanghai, which enable it to stay updated on customers’ needs.

Environmental Awards

They have committed to sustainable and environmental impact, for which it has won awards like the 2016 California Green Business Award.

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