The story of OSI Group is one of passion, hard work, and constant growth. Its major growth from a sole proprietor business to a multinational company is one of its kind in the American history of economic revolution. Otto Kolschowsky saw a chance and took it. At the beginning of the 20th century, when there was massive immigration into the US, the population in cities started to grow. Chicago was one of those, with people of German descent accounting for a huge number of the city’s population. With an idea in mind and a strong will to pursue a dream, Kolschowsky started a butcher shop and a small retail meat market for his community.
Otto’s business enjoyed continued growth, with the market expanding and even moving its operations to other suburbs by the end of the First World War. Within a decade, the company’s operations had stabilized, hence its rebranding to Otto & Sons. Decades later, Otto & Sons’ (now OSI Group) growth rocketed as a result of symbiotic relationships with other huge companies such as McDonald’s. Even before the opening of the original McDonald’s, there was an agreement for Otto & Sons to become the first supplier of ground beef for McDonald’s.
Two decades later, Otto & Sons transitioned to OSI . With the core product of McDonald’s being its hamburgers, beef suppliers for the franchise need to be consistent in their supply of the product for continued customer satisfaction. Even with this kind of pressure, though, OSI Group has shown consistency in its supply of beef and other food products. Through the use of innovative and cutting-edge technology, OSI has continued to transform the food processing industry.
Since its transformation to OSI Group in 1975, OSI has also experienced a change in the nature of its leadership. Taking over its leadership after the retirement of the Otto sons, Sheldon Lavin has continued to scale OSI to greater heights. His experience as an investor and an expert in the banking sector has been crucial for the global growth of OSI Group over the years. The company has continued to undergo consolidation, diversification, and expansion.
The global expansion of OSI has been witnessed in Europe. The company has since opened a new beef production facility in Japan, expanding its Asia-Pacific operations. More facilities have been opened in India in the subsequent years. This kind of growth has been experienced in Germany, Poland, and Netherlands. A recent expansion came when OSI acquired a UK-based food company and rebranded it as Creative Foods Europe in 2018.
OSI Group’s century-long history of client relationships and technological advancements is one full of success, brought by consistency. The nurturing of an idea and seizing of an opportunity has seen a small meat market grow into an iconic food processing company.
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