The Global Success of OSI Industries

German immigrant, Otto Kolschowsky founded a small butcher shop and meat market in Chicago in 1909. Almost two decades of success and moving his operation to another suburb of Chicago, he renamed his small company Otto & Son’s. Otto and his sons, Arthur and Harry, worked hard for years building their reputation before the end of World War II. Meanwhile, in San Bernardino, California, McDonald’s was growing just as quickly. Ray Kroc was a franchise agent for McDonald’s when he approached Otto & Son’s.

Arthur and Harry worked closely with Ray Kroc as the first beef supplier for the new restaurant in Des Plaines, Iowa when it opened in 1955. From there, the two companies grew side by side. Kroc soon bought the franchise and worked to keep growth steady, as did Otto & Son’s. In the late 1960’s, flash freezing became vital to their success, throwing Otto & Son’s into the top four suppliers to McDonald’s nationwide. In 1973, any operations not involved in supplying McDonald’s were combined under the Glenmark brand. Finally, in 1975, OSI Industries was born from the nearly 75 year old family shop.

OSI Industries brought Sheldon Lavin on as a partner after working with the company as an investment consultant for five years. Under Lavin’s hand, OSI Industries expanded nationally during the 1970’s and 1980’s, working in tandem with McDonald’s. From the late 70’s on, both companies moved on toward Europe, starting in Germany. At the same time, Lavin became the CEO of the growing company. Due to Lavin’s expertise, OSI expanded globally. There were soon ventures in Taiwan, India, Australia, and Japan from 1987 on. OSI Group acquires Baho Food

In 1996, their plant in Oakland, Iowa began processing pork products. The early 2000’s saw expansion into poultry production starting from the 1996 acquisition of Moy Park, a UK company. Then in 2014, OSI Industries branched into a joint venture with EDEKA, a grocery chain popular in most of Europe. Due to their sprawling empire, a new trade platform was established. Based in Germany, MPO Global Trade focused on OSI’s poultry ventures in Brazil and Thailand. Somehow, this expansive company has also developed a very successful global Research and Development department and focuses on their environmental impact. After all they do, OSI industries still works with local charities.

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