OSI Group: From Humble Beginnings to A Leader in Global Food Distribution

OSI Group is a privately owned company that supplies food for retail businesses, food establishments, and more. OSI Group has been in operation for over 100 years and is one of the top global food distribution companies in the world. Sheldon Lavin serves as the Chairman and CEO. The company is headquartered in Aurora, Illinois. OSI Group is ranked #58 on Forbes’ America’s Top 100 Largest Companys list with over $6.1 billion in revenue in 2017 and over 20,000 employees.

The Beginning

OSI Industries started with humble beginnings in 1909. Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant, opened a meat-market in his neighborhood in Oak Park, Illinois. Eight years later, Kolschowsky got into the wholesale meat business and moved the business to Maywood, Illinois. He changed the name of the business to Otto & Sons, USA. In 1955, Otto & Sons entered into a contract that would change the face of their business forever. They became a supplier for McDonald’s, which at the time was a small, local business with only one restaurant. Eventually, McDonald’s expanded and Otto & Sons was one of only four meat suppliers that McDonald’s used. As McDonald’s business skyrocketed, so did Otto & Sons.

Big Business and Looking Towards the Future

Business became so big for Otto & Sons that in 1973 they opened a high-volume meat plant to exclusively handle McDonald’s demands. They created a separate company called Glenmark to handle all of the non-McDonald’s business, but Glenmark was eventually acquired by Best Chicago Meat Company, LLC in 2011. In 1975, the company changed its name to OSI Industries.

Since the company’s humble beginnings it has expanded to a global operation with 65 facilities in 17 countries. They have created partnerships with other food distribution companies to make their network strong. In 2016, OSI acquired Flagship Europe, a food distribution company in the United Kingdom. During that same year, OSI bought a controlling stake in Baho Foods, expanding the company’s reach into The Netherlands and Germany.

From humble beginnings to becoming one of the world’s largest and best retail food suppliers, OSI Industries continues to provide its clients with exceptional service and quality food products. OSI Industries has secured its place in the food distributors industries for decades to come.

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