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The History Of OSI Industries

OSI Industries has been around for over a century, albeit most of that time under a different name. It was back in 1909 that Otto Kolcschowsky opened a meat market in a suburb of Chicago. He had just arrived in the United States two years earlier and he was German. Eight years later he became a wholesale meat trader. In 1928 his sons got involved in the business so he changed the name of the company to Otto & Sons, a name it would keep into the 1970s.

In 1955 McDonald’s was just a startup. They selected Otto & Sons to supply them with fresh ground beef patties. At the time this fast food restaurant had hundred of beef suppliers. As technology was introduced into the industry they were able to winnow this number down. In the late 1960’s McDonald’s decided to reduce to just four suppliers and Otto & Sons was one of them.

A few years later they needed to build a new processing facility in order to meet demand. This is when Sheldon Lavin became acquainted with this company, because he was a financier who handled the loan, and he then became one of the owners of the company and its top executive. It took on the name OSI Industries in this time period.

Back in the 1970s, OSI Industries only supplied food across the United States. Under Sheldon Lavin’s leadership they expanded into a multinational company with offices and facilities around the glob.

Sometimes OSI Industries expands organically by building new food processing facilities and sometimes they acquire other companies in the industry. Two examples of this latter way of expansion occurred in 2016. In August 2016, OSI Industries purchased Baho Food of the Netherlands. OSI Industries’ President and COO David McDonald said that what this company offered to consumers meshed very nicely with what his company was doing.

For similar reasons OSI Industries bought Flagship Europe of the United Kingdom in December 2016. This company, which they have since renamed it as Creative Foods Europe, owns many well-known brands which OSI Industries also acquired. Among these are Calder Foods, Oliver James Foods, Harvest Farms, and Tobasco. Their foods are available in both grocery stores and through restaurants.

Other companies that OSI Industries has acquired  over the years is Amick Farms in 2006, Moy Park in 1996, Hynek Schlachthof GmbH in 2017, and a joint venture entered into in 2014 with Select Ready Foods among others. Because of this consistent expansion OSI Industries is now a company earning about $6.1 billion a year, as of the end of 2016, and is the 58th biggest private company in America.

Today, OSI Industries is based in Aurora, Illinois and it has processing facilities in that state as well as other states in the US. Overall it has operations in 17 separate countries including the two most populous in the world, India and China.