How OSI Industries Became A Global Food Processor

For much of its history OSI Industries was known as Otto & Sons. The founder was Otto Kolschowsky who had immigrated from Germany just a few years before opening this company in 1909. It started out as a butcher shop and within a decade he had also become a wholesaler of meat. His two sons joined the company once they were of age and it continued to grow and expand in the Chicago area.

McDonald’s had the biggest impact on Otto & Sons. Otto’s two sons owned and operated Otto & Sons in 1955 when their friend, Ray Kroc, chose their company to be the supplier of beef to the very first McDonald’s franchise which was opened in Illinois. As Ray Kroc added more and more restaurant locations Otto & Sons business was increasingly focused on supplying McDonald’s. Once frozen technology had reached the point where beef could be shipped all over the nation Ray Kroc decided to reduce the number of beef suppliers he was using, numbering over a hundred, to just four firms with one of those being Otto & Sons and to know more

In 1975 Otto & Sons was renamed OSI Industries. Otto’s two sons still owned the company but they wanted to retire. The brought in Sheldon Lavin as their business partner and he also took over the role of CEO. Sheldon Lavin focused on supplying McDonald’s with what they need and started OSI Industries international expansion. Today their facilities can be located in 17 different nations and they supply meat products to numerous restaurants across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. OSI Industries has expanded over the past four decades both organically and through acquisitions and merging with other food processing companies. For example, in 2016 they bought two major European food manufacturers, Baho Foods and Flagship Europe. They have also bought slaughterhouses so that they control the food chain supply network.

Their latest M&A event occurred on May 7, 2018. In Australia they merged with Turi Foods in order to create Turosi Pty Ltd. Each company has a 50% interest in Turosi. Turosi Foods brings their years of experience in poultry farming while OSI Industries brings their global scale and reach to this new venture. Turi Foods is a family-owned company which is one of the biggest companies of its kind in Australia. In addition to restaurants they also supply poultry products to grocery stores, retailers, and butcher shops.

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