OSI Group: A Heritage of Innovative Global Organic Growth

For over one century, OSI Group has been synonymous with innovation. Technological advancements such as cryogenic food processing have played a vital role in the ability of the company to develop and propagate a customer-centric business model effectively. Founded in 1909 as corner butcher shop by Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant, OSI Group grew organically from its deal with McDonald’s restaurant during its nascent years in the early 20th century to a global entity with operations across various continents including Australia, Europe, and the Americas. Using cutting-edge technology, the company ramped up its production to become a market leader in the production and sale of processed foods. The company currently boasts of over $6 billion sales and several facilities and subsidiaries.

The symbiotic relationship between McDonald’s and OSI Group played a significant part in OSI’s group. With the restaurant expansion in the domestic market, OSI also scaled its capacity by opening new facilities across the country to meet the demand from McDonald’s. The group began new facilities in various states and locations including Chicago, Oakland, Iowa and West Jordan, Utah. This strategy was also replicated when the restaurant chain went global. Buoyed but its successful partnership with McDonald’s, OSI Group continued its organic growth by venturing into new markets beyond what McDonald’s offered. The group transformed into a global brand with operations in new and emerging markets such as Taiwan when it partnered with K&K Foods to form a joint venture. Joint ventures were also formed to tap into the processed foods markets in Spain and Germany.

Under the leadership of Sheldon Lavin, the group’s chief executive and chairman who joined the multinational corporation in 1975, the group has continued with its expansion into the global market through acquisitions of strategically placed companies. In 1996, OSI acquired Moy Park which was followed by the 2006 purchase of U.S.-based Amick Farms. The company expanded into Japan, Poland, Brazil, and India and further cemented its market dominance in the UK through the acquisition of Flagship Europe. Netherlands-based Baho Foods and Germany-based Hynek Schlachthof GmbH were furthered added to OSI’s banner. The company also boasts of operations in Canada through Select Ready Foods while it also acquired Tyson Foods-owned facilities in Chicago. This is in addition to the 2018 merger with Australia-based Turi Foods.

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