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OSI Industries: From a Corner Butchery to a Global Producer.

OSI Industries was launched in 1909 as a small retail meat store by a German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky. His business developed and expanded to wholesale business by the end of the First World War, simultaneously rebranding the business to Otto & Sons in 1928. The business maintained stability for decades, successfully operating locally. In the 1950s, the first McDonald’s restaurant was opened in Illinois and designated Otto & Sons as one of the suppliers for beef products. Due to the advancement in technology in the 1960s, the company employed the flash freezing process which led to a reduction in the cost of production and product expansion in the food industry. Otto & Sons was promoted to one of the leading suppliers of McDonald’s. In 1975, the company saw a transition that led to a change in the company name to OSI Industries, since it was not only serving the local community but the larger Midwest region. Sheldon Lavin, the current Chief Executive Officer, joined the company in 1975 as the sons of Otto Kolschowsky approached their retirement years. Lavin had previously served the company as the investment consultant in 1970.

OSI Industries current position lies on the expansions in regions such as Austria, Hungary, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, and the Pacific Rim that were made in the 1980s and 1990s. Other extensions were also made in the United States, such as the processing plant in Chicago in 1986, and another facility in Oakland, Iowa. The plant saw the production of sausages, hot dogs and bacon, which opened a new product specialization for OSI Industries. In new millennium, the company was expanded to Australia and India. The company maintains its headquarters in Aurora, Illinois, the same place as when the company first started operating; but with a chain of facilities across the globe. Throughout their expansions and acquisitions, OSI Industries has worked with local management teams who understand the local markets and synchronize with the parent company. Presently, the company ranks among the largest food processing companies in the world, with a workforce of more than 20,000 employees, and 65 facilities in operations located in 17 countries.

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