OSI Group – A Giant in the Food and Beverage Industry

OSI Group is one of the top US companies that has achieved prominence in the food and beverage industry through its high-quality processing methods which supplies meat products in a lot of food retailing companies around the world.


OSI Group began as a family business in 1909. This was owned by Otto Kolschowsky, a German who immigrated to Illinois, United States in 1907. It took eight years before the small meat market turned into an extensive meat business which required Otto to move to Maywood. Although the new Otto & Sons became quite a popular local meat supplier for decades, their biggest break came when the then-startup McDonald’s company decided to strike a deal with the former as the main provider of ground beef patties for its primary restaurant located in Des Plaines, Illinois.

As Otto & Sons preserved its position as one of the major suppliers for McDonald’s, they constructed their first meat processing plant in West Chicago that houses machinery which can generate perfectly shaped patties and freeze food using liquid nitrogen. On 1975, the descendants of Otto Kolschowsky formally changed the company’s name into OSI Group.

Business Accomplishments

From its humble beginning, OSI Group has been able to expand with over 20,000 employees to date. Yet, the greatest accomplishment that they have received thus far is a huge leap they had done in the Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies.

By 2011, the company only held the 136th spot in the same category. Due to their diligence in maintaining the best quality of meat merchandise that they deliver to some of the renowned fast food chains – Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC and Subway, among others – that have thousands of branches across the planet, the OSI Group went up to the 58th rank come 2016. More than that, their earnings doubles in simply a matter of five years, as the company attained 6.1 billion dollars of sales, as stated by Forbes.

Related: Top 100 Food Processing Companies

Recent Innovations

OSI Group is capable not only of producing food products, but also of acquiring various manufacturing companies in the industry. Their latest acquisition is Baho Food, a Dutch company whose processed snacks, delis, and other food items reach the convenience stores within a total of 18 countries in the Europe.

According to OSI Group’s chief operating officer, David G. McDonald, the procurement is part of the company’s objective to broaden their European presence, as well as get ahold of diverse processing techniques which did not exist in their manufacturing plants before. OSI Group will be absorbing the managing director of Baho Food, John Balvers, along with the managers under him so as to develop more ideas to help the growth of the corporation.

About the CEO

Many years passed, and Sheldon Lavin is now the chief executive officer and chairman of OSI Group. Apart from that, he is also a General Trustee and President for Rush University Medical Center and OSI International Foods, respectively, as well as a former director for the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

For more information on OSI Group, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OSI-Group-106191179472361/

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