Category Archives: Food Industry

The untold grass to grace story of OSI Industries

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If you are into the food distribution business, the OSI industries certainly rings a bell. Or you may have seen the OSI Group logo in a city or town near you. Certainly, for a company to grow from a Chicago local butchery to opening facilities in Australia and South America, a lot of effort is behind that. This is the story of the food company which was started by Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant back in the 21st century. Otto was among the many German immigrants who had found a new home in Chicago back in the 1900s.

Kolschowsky settled in the city of Chicago and opened up butchery after two years to serve the people of Chicago, whom a quarter of them were of German descent. Kolschowsky was an intelligent businessman and success kept him company. He was a brilliant an ambitious man who laid the foundation of what was to be a multinational company with more than twenty thousand employees and present in more than seventeen nations of the world.

At the time World War 1 was coming to an end, Kolschowsky had managed to grow business from a meat vendor and single butchery to wholesale and supply and relocated to Maywood, a more spacious Chicago suburb.

Otto & Sons

A decade later, in 1928 Kolschowsky sons, Harry and Arthur would take over the family business and rebrand it to Otto & Sons. The duo did not disappoint their father and would for the next decades guide business to achieve major success and land top client, McDonald’s. Harry and Arthur developed a strong relationship with the CEO of McDonald’s corporation, Ray Kroc, and Otto & Sons would be given the tender to supply beef to the franchise. McDonald’s signature product was the hamburgers and it was upon Otto & Sons to match the supply for the beef required for the hamburgers. Otto & Sons would maintain the business relationship with McDonald’s and as the franchise grew, so did the company because they were retained as among the main suppliers of beef.

Global growth

The voluminous growth of McDonald’s all over the United States compelled Otto & Sons to realign their business. The two sons of Otto came up with two divisions for their business. One was primarily a supplier to McDonald while the other which they called Glenmark brand would service the domestic retail market and local restaurants. This brought about the rebranding of Otto & Sons to OSI Industries in the year 1975. Additionally, the exponential growth of the company required more managers and leadership plus the two sons of Otto were nearing retirement.

This led to the summoning of Sheldon Lavin who joined the OSI Industries as a partner in 1975.
OSI industries would experience global growth and make some strategic acquisitions in Australia and Europe. Sheldon Lavin efforts saw the company; open up facilities in Mexico, Hungary, Poland, Brazil and many more countries.

More about OSI Industries

The company acquired Baho Food which is a Dutch company that manufactures meat products and supplies to Extensive Europe, including Germany and Netherlands. OSI also purchased Flagship Europe and renamed it to Creative Foods Europe. Today OSI is a global leader in the food industry and is ranked #58 by Forbes with sales of, $6.1 billion in 2016.

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June 5, 2018

OSI Group Provides An Unrivaled Sustainable Food Service Experience

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The OSI Group is an unrivaled, top-notch global food provider with the financial resources and infrastructure to produce and distribute, source, and develop custom food solutions to countries, worldwide.

Partnering with world leading food service companies and retail food brands, OSI provides a made-to-order solution that meets the unique needs of all of its very happy customers. Many awards have been bestowed upon OSI Group and a couple of them include a Global Visionary Award presented by India’s Vision World Academy that was given to OSI’s Chairman and CEO Sheldon Lavin, and the 2016 Globe of Honour given by the British Safety Council. The Globe of Honour specifically was awarded due to the fact that OSI Group holds itself to some of the food industry’s highest safety, health and environmental standards.

OSI Group has recently acquired Flagship Europe from the Flagship Food Group, which supplies sous vide products and pies in addition to mayonnaise; sauces and dressings, frozen poultry, marinades, sandwich fillings, and other kinds of dips. Russell Maddock, the chief executive of Flagship Europe is very optimistic about the acquisition and feels that, “The increased resources that will become available to us, along with the access to new clients and global markets as part of the OSI Group, will strengthen our position in the marketplace.” New opportunities will also enable the customer base of the company to be served much better than ever before, and OSI’s high standards will also increase their trust and confidence.

OSI Group’s commitment to sustainability and our planet’s welfare is of the highest concern to its leadership and team members. Food industry sustainability and the impact that its business has on the world at large is closely monitored and maintained well. With an awareness of the communities OSI serves, the company works responsibly to manage their business within the environmental, economic, and social frameworks in which it operates.

Learn more about Flagship Europe:

March 13, 2017