Category Archives: OSI Group

From Humble Roots to International Recognition: The OSI Group Story

OSI group is one of the globe’s largest suppliers of food. The business’ history has deep roots in the American immigration experience. It was started by Otto Kolchowsky, a German that migrated into the booming Chicago population during the 20th century. He opened a retail meat market center as well as a butchery to provide services to the community. His amazing business ethics, as well as aptitude, allowed him to expand into a wholesale and in 1928, the business rebranded as Otto & Sons. After the rebranding, the several following decades opened up the firm to new opportunities. Such business opportunities came up in the form of partnership with a newly established McDonald’s restaurant that expanded its profit margins as the industry expanded. The company became McDonald’s main supplier of meat for hamburgers. Hence due to the consistency embodied in McDonald’s products, they became a central part of the global expansion of the business, giving them international exposure.

A significant aspect of the OSI group’s global transition into newer markets and adoption of more modern technology was the entry of Sheldon Lavin. After entering the firm as a CEO, he utilized his international financial exposure to bring OSI group to other markets outside the United States. OSI group entered into different partnership agreements with various firms including Nation Pizza and Foods in 1994. The expansion initiative introduced by Sheldon Lavin allowed the firm to have substantial investments in poultry, bacon, sausages and many of the meat products primarily consumed in the industry. Majority of these growth ventures happened via mergers and acquisitions. Although by the end of the first decade in the 21st-century majority of OSI Group’s business were outside the United States, it maintained its original headquarters in Metropolis. All international ventures consisting of acquisitions and mergers that the company attained in its diversification drive never attained oversees management. The firm maintained its original culture with the goal of keeping the companies‘ initial effect on the market but still link efficiently with the parent company.

Globally, there are very many products that are under the OSI Group brand including non-meat products. This is in fulfillment of their core objective of developing new and better products for market consumption. They have integrated new technology in value addition and safety standards with their partners on the ground. Considering the simple start of OSI group as an ordinary butcher shop and growth into one of the biggest food suppliers in the globe, it has wholly benefited from its business effort.


OSI Group is Moving Food Service Products into the Future

OSI Group is a privately held food processing company with local ties and a global reach. Based in Aurora, Illinois, the company operates more than 50 facilities in more than 15 countries and provides food services and retail brands to its customers. The company realizes its most important asset is its employees. They believe every person can make a difference and provides such a climate that attracts the best and brightest and allows them every opportunity to flourish and grow while bringing new and improved innovations to the operations.

The company got its start back in 1909 when a German immigrant by the name of Otto Kolschowsky opened a family owned meat market in the Oak Park neighborhood of Illinois. A few years later, he expanded his business and became a wholesale meat trader. Over the years, the company has earned a reputation for offering quality food products.

OSI Group acquired the former Tyson Foods plant located in Chicago and added the facility to its line-up of production and distribution. Since Tyson was closing this particular plant, the remaining employees found employment opportunities with OSI Group. According to OSI, the 20,000 square foot acquisition will further support OSI business growth.

Also being acquired was Baho Food. They are a Dutch owned operation and focus on the manufacturing of snacks, deli meats and convenience foods. By adding Baho to the OSI family gave them a broader reach in Europe. Baho’s offerings are the perfect complement to OSI’s offerings. Baho is made up of subsidiaries in the Netherlands and Germany and serve customers in 10 countries in Europe. The OSI and Baho team collaborated on a growth strategy for the combined offerings. The management team at Baho was very excited about becoming part of the OSI family. It would help them better leverage their capabilities being a part of OSI. The acquisition of Baho Foods by OSI has accelerated Baho’s growth and gives them a giant step closer to their goals.

The OSI Group works with each customer to create and manufacture custom made products to meet their specifications. OSI will also bring to the table supply chain solutions that address a company’s most challenging distribution. Even though OSI works globally, they also work within the local markets and take advantage of the local talent. They are also conscience of local customs and culture and plan and prepare food accordingly. The company has accrued a vast array of experience and creativity over the years and has the ability to develop what clients need to achieve their food service goals.

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OSI Group: the Food Company of the Future

OSI Group is a private US meat processing company that provides high-quality foods for many restaurant and food-serving industries and companies. In 2016, OSI Group was awarded by the British Safety Council the prestigious award of the Globe of Honour. This marks OSI Group’s success as a meat processing company, as it was only one out of eighteen different companies from across the globe to be awarded with this honor. The British Safety Council’s Globe of Honour is specifically given to companies that have extremely high-quality when it comes to environmental management. In other words, in order for the OSI Group to have received the Globe of Honour, it had to pass and achieve the highest rating, which is five stars in what the British Safety Council refers to as an “environmental management audit scheme” in the period of only one short year. On top of this, the OSI Group also proved themselves to the British Council as having a team of what can only be described as experts and professionals in the environment management business.

The OSI Group is no stranger to expansion. The organization continue to grow and flourish. Only recently, the company expanded its roots into Spain. The organization did this in order to increase its production of chicken products. After its expansion into Spain, the OSI Group boasts about “double” the amount of chicken product capacity it once had. Also recently, the OSI Group acquired Flagship Europe, which is a company in charge of dressings and sauces, as well as pies, sous vide products, and frozen poultry products. Russell Maddock, the CEO of Flagship Europe states that this will tremendously help Flagship Europe in its success, as it will become more accessed by other “global markets,” which translates to new and even more customers. In addition to these two expansions, OSI Group also boasts of recently purchasing what was known as the Tyson Food plant. While many left the company due to a change in management, those remaining in the Tyson as it shut down officially as Tyson, were later kindly offered jobs by the OSI Group, to stay and work for them. Many of the remaining 250 employees did just that. Up until recently, OSI Group also purchased Baho Food, which was a Dutch organization that manufactured ready-to-eat foods such as, deli meats and snacks. David G. McDonald, the president and COO of OSI Group states that acquiring Baho Food will give OSI Group a more “broader presence in Europe.”

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How Sheldon Lavin Helped Turn Around OSI Group’s Fortunes

Sheldon Lavin, the current CEO and chairman of OSI Group, has one great vision for his company, bringing modern food processing to all countries around the world. This explains why he is continually stretching the food processor’s global reach through acquisitions. The achievability of Sheldon’s vision for the company can be pegged on the transformation that he has helped the food company achieve in the last four decades.

Sheldon Lavin’s history at OSI Group

Sheldon joined the meat industry as a financial advisor for Otto & Sons Company, now OSI Group, when the company was experiencing stressed financial challenges. While it had a national outlook, Otto & Sons had just missed the opportunity of being the largest hamburger suppliers to McDonald’s. His previous experience in the banking sector came in handy as he helped the company gain funds from lenders that proved instrumental in turning around their dwindling fortunes.

While here, Sheldon Lavin developed a huge interest in the food manufacturing and packaging industry. He went out of his way as a financial advisor to explore the market and look for local and international opportunities that the company could exploit. He not only helped source for local and international investments, he also brought a lot of business to the company.

This helped solidify his position within the company and when Mr. Otto decided to retire, Sheldon agreed to partner with the sons in furthering the company’s goals. The partnership would be occasioned by the change of the company’s name from Otto & Sons Company to OSI Group.

Managing partnership and acquisitions

Over the years Sheldon worked hard towards the expansion OSI Group, a fact that saw him acquire a controlling interest in the company and subsequent takeover of the company management. Nonetheless, achieving a controlling interest hasn’t stopped him from pushing the company’s goals even further. Rather, it served as a motivation. The food manufacturer’s expansionary moves started in the 1970s, when the company opened branches in North America and Europe.

Sheldon also oversaw an expansion of operations in South America, China, Japan, and South Africa. Today, OSI Group runs over 60 facilities spread out in 16 countries across the world. Most importantly, the food company has adopted new cost-cutting operational rules, under his management. This includes the acquisition of existing food companies in different countries across the world and expanding their operations as opposed to setting up new branches that take time to gain root in these new markets. It has also managed to bag the Globe of Honor awards severally and the man himself was recently recognized for his brilliant and innovative approaches after he was awarded the Global visionary award.

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OSI Group Adds Tyson Foods to its Portfolio Companies

OSI Group recently purchased the Tyson Food plant located in Chicago. Tyson Foods is an old Food services company based in Arkansas. The management of OSI Group says that it is a useful addition to their establishment because it will help them deal with the rising demand for food services. The plant is approximately 200 000 square feet. The management says that with the boosted production capacity, the company is set to meet its objectives of food service to all clients. According to the Executive Vice President of OSI, Mr. Kevin Scott, the Tyson Food Plant Purchase is one of the most important investments that they have made in the recent past.

OSI Service Coverage and Accolades

OSI Group is one of the top 100 American companies that specialize in custom food service to a wide spectrum of clients across 17 countries. The company supplies food to various food outlets and clients with a range of needs. The organization specializes in meat products, especially poultry and beef, although it has added various other meat types and foods to its menu of supplies. They stand out because they developed a business model that allows them to monitor all their food, starting from the supplier all the way to the outlet. Tyson Foods has been around for many years and has acquired the management strategies that make sure that all their products meet the highest standards. The company has over 20 000 employees spread out across 17 countries. OSI is also proud to have been awarded the prestigious Globe of Honour by the British Safety Council in 2016. The company was among 18 organizations that were honored for their environmental conservation efforts.

OSI in Spain

In an effort to keep expanding its revenue catchment area, OSI decided to build one of the largest poultry-processing plants in Toledo, Spain. After the completion of the plant, OSI Spain has the capacity to produce over 45 000 tonnes of chicken and beef products. The plant helped OSI Spain to double its production capacity. The move was informed by the increasing demand for poultry products. The existing production fell short in meeting the demand in the region. The Toledo plant cost OSI over 17 million Euros. However, the management is confident that it is a worthy investment, and that it will not be long before the business recovers the investment and returns impressive profits.

About OSI Employment Policy

OSI Group is an equal opportunity employer. The company advertises for various openings in its outlets across the globe. In fact, their website currently has some job openings. The consideration for employment, the company says, is purely on merit. The company never takes into consideration such irrelevant factors as one’s race, gender, religion or affiliation to the senior officials. Everyone has an equal opportunity to be hired by OSI.

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OSI Food Solutions Has A History Of Making Big Waves In Food Markets Around The World:

OSI Food Solutions has been making waves in Europe recently with big expansions taking place over the last few years in the United Kingdom and Spain as well as the acquisition of a Dutch company that has a huge reach across Europe. All of these expansions and upgrades are aimed at continuing to build the OSI Food Solutions brand in the critical European market. In the end, it is part of OSI’s core value of being dedicated to delivering the best customer service in the foodservice and retail industry and to always not only meet but exceed its customer’s expectations. OSI Food Solutions is a company that has built a global reach by being an organization that receives its greatest satisfaction when its customers succeed in businesses.

Partnership with Pickstock:

Pickstock is a leading producer and distributor of beef in the United Kingdom. 2014 was the beginning of a partnership between OSI Food Solutions and Pickstock. The partnership has been a perfect match for OSI as Pickstock has a true insight into the British market. OSI has always sought out these sort of partnerships during its years of expansion.

Acquisition and Rebranding of Flagship Europe:

Another big move for OSI Food Solutions came in 2016 when the company gained control of another United Kingdom-based operation. Flagship Europe, a producer and distributor of speciality foods is now a member of the OSI Food Solutions Family. As part of a new marketing effort related to Flagship, the company will be rebranded as Creative Foods Europe.

Acquisition of Baho Food:

Dutch company Baho Food which operates primarily out of the Netherlands and Germany is also a new member of the OSI Food Solutions family as of 2016. Baho Food has a huge reach across the European continent and OSI President David McDonald feels confident that the acquisition is sure to help OSI Food Solutions in bringing in the next wave of customers. The upgrade in OSI’s portfolio is significant and will serve to help the company continue to delight customers both current and newly acquired.

Major Upgrades in Toledo Facility:

OSI Food Solutions has also made some massive upgrades at its facility in Todelo, Spain. The upgrade to the facility’s production line is in direct response to a huge increase in the demand for processed chicken that OSI has observed is trending in Spain and Portugal. The result of the upgrade is that OSI Food Solutions has now doubled its production of processed chicken at the facility from 12,000 tons per year to a massive 24,000 tons per year.


The Founding And Growth Of The OSI Group

According to Forbes magazine, the OSI Group is America’s 58th largest privately owned company. It has $6.1 billion in revenue annually, over 20,000 employees and from its headquarters in Aurora, Illinois manages about 80 processing plants in 17 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. A meat processors holding company, serving both the retail as well as the food service industries, the OSI Group provides bacon, fish, hot dogs, meat patties, pizza, poultry and vegetable products for businesses all over the world. The company is led by Sheldon Lavin, chairman and CEO and CFO Sherry DeMeulemaere.

Founded in Oak Park, Illinois by Otto Kolschowsky in 1909, the OSI Group was initially a family meat market. It developed a reputation for providing the finest meats and expanded to become part of the wholesale meat trade in 1917. In 1928, the company became known as Otto & Sons. Its fortunes really began to expand in 1955 when they made a handshake deal with Ray Kroc to provide meat patties for his brand new McDonald’s franchise which had just opened its first branch in Des Plaines, Illinois. As McDonald’s grew, so did Otto & Sons. The company became known as OSI Industries in 1975.

When it purchased liquid nitrogen freezing tunnels and patty-forming machines and opened a facility in West Chicago to act as a high-volume meat plant, the company began providing specialty meats for restaurants in the area, processed meats for supermarkets, along with other small projects. Eventually, the OSI Group created Glenmark, a separate division of the company that handled all of its non-McDonald’s business. The company sold the Glenmark name to the Best Chicago Meat 2011. By that time the OSI Group was well on its way to becoming an international meat distributor.

Today, the OSI Group provides meat to international fast food chains doing business in China. They include McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, Papa John’s Pizza, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and others. It is now considered to be one of the premier global food providers and partners with many top retail and food service food brands to deliver concept-to-table solutions to meet the needs of consumers worldwide. The once tiny family meat market is now known for its ability to provide custom food solution designed to meet the precise specification of its global customers.

The OSI Group has won numerous awards for quality assurance, food safety practices and environmental sustainability.