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OSI Industries is the innovative brainchild of Otto Kolschowsky, a German-immigrant who migrated to Chicago in the early 1900s. It began as a family-owned butcher shop and meat market. Kolschowsky contracted a significant deal with Richard and Maurice McDonald- the founders of the largest fast-food chain in America, McDonald’s. It was well on it’s way to becoming a global force in the food processing industry.

Hamburgers were the staple of McDonald’s therefore, OSI Industries, formerly known as Otto & Sons, was met with the task of supplying the ever-growing chain with a consistent and economically-friendly supply of ground beef throughout the US. With the groundbreaking technology of cryogenic food processing, OSI began flash freezing their beef- creating an avenue to provide their beef to an ever-expanding McDonald’s at an economical rate. OSI broke off in two different sectors- the dedicated McDonald’s supplier and Glenmark, which supplied local restaurants and retail markets with their beef.

An investment consultant, Sheldon Lavin, was made a partner in 1975. Soon after, OSI Industries took its company global by expanding to Germany and Spain in 1978 and 1980-respectively. With his savvy sophistication and negotiating skills, Lavin became the chairman and CEO of OSI Industries in the 1980s.

In 2016 it was named the 58th company on the Forbes list for privately owned businesses with sales upwards of $ 6 billion. It continues to play an important role in the food provider industry.

OSI’s global expansion included Austria, Brazil, Hungry, Mexico, Poland, and the Pacific Rim. In the late 1980s, it joined with K & K foods in Taiwan- dominating the industry in the Asia-Pacific market. They later added a second plant in Shanghai in 1996.

With the creation of the (WTO) World Trade Organization, they partnered with the growing China industry and began providing products for companies such as Papa John’s, Burger King and Subway. It collaborated with the Nation Pizza and Food establishment, which produces sausage, hot dogs, and bacon. OSI acquired the U.K. company Moy Park and began processing poultry.

OSI’s main plant remains in West Chicago, However, it has expanded worldwide and has opened several plants in China and Europe. It acquired a controlling stake in the company Baho Food– a Dutch manufacturer of meat and food products, which is operated in the Netherlands and Germany. With so much activity in Europe, It opened an office in Gersthofen, Germany, in 2016.

Beginning as a small butcher shop in the city of Chicago over a century ago, OSI Industries is now a super force globalized by technology and innovation.

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