OSI Industries Growth and Global Expansion

The history of OSI Industries is interesting, and it’s a great example of what the real American dream is all about. Starting with the story of a German immigrant, the foundation for success with OSI Industries was built. Otto Kolschowsy, the immigrant himself was drawn to live amongst the community with other German immigrants in Chicago, Illinois when he considered how he could make a good living and serve the community. Food service in the form of a retail meat market was his first choice, giving him the opportunity to utilize the hog market that already existed. OSI buys former Tyson Foods plant on South Side for $7.4M.

Using his business acumen and what was available to him in Chicago, OSI Industries was started all with Mr. Kolschowsky and his sons. Upon the sons choosing to retire, they sought out the help and counsel of Sheldon Lavin, once a consultant for the company, he was the obvious choice for the sons when it was time to pass on the torch. It was many decades later that the business was still thriving and successful, having made connections with McDonald’s to help grow their business in the community. Once OSI Industries entered into a joint venture with McDonald’s to supply beef, the company began to grow by leaps and bounds.

Growth in the 60’s and 70’s, led the company on to great success and greater technological breakthroughs. When Lavin was asked to partner with the company in 1975, it was the beginning of the company entering into the international market. Multiple levels of expansion led to OSI Industries becoming one of the largest food suppliers around the world, including in Brazil, Poland, Mexico, Hungary, and even in Austria all in the 90’s. Today, mergers are still taking place, even in Australia where the company merged with another food supplier.

Additionally, China also played an important role in the growth of OSI, when the World Trade Organization (WTO) opened up more doors for food supplies. Poultry processing took off and was adopted in full by OSI, taking them to continuous levels of success that date back for centuries. Pleasing their many clients, OSI has flourished all due to the dream of a German butcher.

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