Browse Category: OSI Group

OSI Group: Assessing the Foundational Growth Factors that Sparked International Expansion

When it comes to honoring some of the world’s leading fast-food franchises with the recognition and credibility of having exceptional consistency in premier customer service, it is generally the case that consumers remain inattentive to the numerous subordinate companies that have contributed to the overwhelming success of these franchises. Nevertheless, as a result of neither promoting nor emphasizing the business details that underlie franchise development, companies like the OSI Group have been able to achieve substantial growth and manifest international establishments without even capturing the attention of the public eye. Certainly, for several decades McDonald’s has reigned as the number one fast-food franchise in the world and has upheld its title by remaining to be a generational constituent via consumer loyalty to the brand from childhood into adulthood. However, what very few people know is that for many years, OSI has serviced in having the notable responsibility of being the company’s chief supplier of ground beef.

Indeed, the OSI Group’s decision to set aside their personal business endeavors in order to commit to a long-term partnership with McDonalds prior to the franchise’s global triumph was a choice that not only allowed McDonald’s to profit and thrive, but one that yielded mutual benefits that enabled OSI to become one of the world’s largest food providers. Yet, just like any other entity that strives to become affluent, success didn’t come for either company overnight. Rather, it was achieved through dedication and invested time. According to an article posted on, there is a backstory that details how each company came to dominate the food industry. Before OSI became known for whom they are today, they were formerly known as Otto & Sons. Otto & Sons was initially established in the city of Chicago in 1928 by a German-immigrant named Otto Kolschowsky. Otto Kolschowsky’s small retail meat market was such a staple to the community after World War II that it continued to prosper as a local business. Moreover, it was also during this time that Ray Kroc (CEO of McDonald’s Corporation) met with Otto Kolschowsky’s sons (Arthur and Harry) to make an agreement on Otto & Sons being McDonald’s main supplier of beef. Following the agreement, McDonald’s business boomed and Kroc was able to then buy out the franchise. Over the course of 20 years, the grand-scale business that generated out of the alliance with McDonald’s pushed Otto & Sons to transition to a global corporation known as OSI Group.

Furthermore, using the latest technological development during that time, OSI began incorporating cryogenic food processing (flash freezing with liquid nitrogen) into their mass manufacturing operations into order to preserve food for shipment and fulfill the global demands of consumers. Nonetheless, with so much incoming business, OSI began to set up several manufacturing plants that were solely dedicated to servicing McDonald’s. In addition to this, the company also began to take on other food franchise clients including Starbucks, Burger King, Subway and several others. Subsequent to establishing new clients, OSI Group also began to expand internationally in India, Australia, China, Europe, and Japan to provide fresh produce, poultry, and beef.

As related by, OSI has achieved such a magnitude of success that the company now manages operations out of a total of 65 facilities that are dispersed over a combination of 17 countries. The Chronicle article further mentions how OSI is committed to food safety in its food plant processing of poultry, beef, pork, and sous vide and how the company’s ingredients supply leading restaurant chains. As of today, OSI stands to be one of the largest private companies in the U.S. that has earned an estimate of $6.1 billion in sales and continues to give back to the community in working with food-associated charities like the Ronald McDonald House Charities and The Northern Illinois Food Bank.


OSI Group Continues Its Global Expansion

When Otto Kolschowsky opened up a small retail meat market and butcher shop on Chicago’s West Side in 1909, he could have never guessed that more than a hundred years later, his company would be a world-wide food provider with more than 10,000 employees across the world. And yet you can still see reminders of that original business in its current incarnation, the OSI Group.

Within two years of opening his initial business, Kolschowsky expanded into the meat wholesaling business and within a decade it had expanded again and the company was renamed Otto & Sons. And it was Otto’s sons who negotiated the deal that launched the company into a national business. Just as Ray Kroc was beginning to build the McDonald’s restaurant chain, he and Otto’s two sons made a deal to supply regional McDonald’s with burgers. Over the next two decades that relationship expanded until Otto & Sons became one of McDonald’s four core suppliers. In 1975, the two Kolschowsky sons were ready to retire and as an outside CEO was brought in for the first time, the company reflected the move by changing its name to OSI Group.

In the decades since, the company has continued to expand and is now a truly global food provider. By the beginning of the 21st Century the company operated a global network of processing plants. And as OSI Group has increased its attention in recent years on Europe and China, it’s also moved into value-added protein products ranging from sausages to pizzas.

OSI Global’s most recent move has been in Australia, where it merged its Australian unit with Australian poultry farming and processing company Turi Foods. The 50/50 merger expands the OSI Group reach in the Australian market, which is one of the company’s fastest-growing markets. Otto Kolschowsky would no doubt be shocked by the reach of the company he founded more than 100 years ago. But he would recognize the company culture, which continues to focus on quality and innovation and more

OSI Food Solutions Dominates the Environmental Business

OSI Food Solutions, founded by Otto Kolschowski in 1909, specializes in meat processing. In their early years, the company supplied McDonald’s with the meat patties for hamburgers which, in turn, made the company thrive and grow. Currently the company makes sausage, bacon, and food products for other food retailers such as Papa John’s Pizza, Starbucks, and Subway. OSI Group has built their reputation on supplying the highest quality on products and services.

OSI Food Solutions UK has earned one of the most prestigious awards in the environmental business. They were presented with the Globe of Honour Award for 2016 from the British Safety Council for demonstrating excellent health and safety procedures, establishing operations to be more sustainable, and implementing a unified approach in leadership. Not only did the company receive this exemplary award in 2016, but also in 2013 and 2015. Staying compliant has helped the company achieve their goals and inspire their employees.

The company has proven itself and is considered to be among the top 100 companies in America. OSI Food Solutions focuses on offering career advancement and employment opportunities, especially since the Flagship Europe, BAHO, and Tyson Food Plant purchases. This also helped expand the company into foreign markets. The company has locations in 17 countries throughout the world. Their annual sales reach $6.1 billion.

In Spain, the demand for chicken increased tremendously, so the plant invested in a high-capacity production line for processed chicken products. This has increased and doubled the production capacity and added new jobs as well. Expanding has allowed for a new production hall, rooms for waste container storage that are refrigerated, oil service areas, and also an area for employees. As a bonus, operations have been more energy efficient with electricity consumption which has decreased by 20% due to the new equipment. Also, it allows OSI Food Solutions to focus on their customers and add new products that are in demand.

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How The OSI Group Is Adapting To A Changing Marketplace

The food industry like many other sectors is changing rapidly. As a new generation of consumers inches ever closer to increased buying power and influence in the marketplace companies that are in the business of supplying and processing food must find ways to adapt their offerings and business strategies to accommodate these changes. When companies fail to adapt quickly enough the consequences can be devastating. Take for instance the current situation that much of the physical retail market in the United States is finding itself in. Companies such as JC Penny’s and Macy’s that have long been market leaders in the world of physical retail are finding that they are struggling to compete with online competitors such as Amazon. Amazon appears to offer a high level of convenience, competitive prices and a frictionless purchasing process that makes it easy for the company to close sales with its consumers. While many people no doubt might have once felt that online shopping was a high risk business for retailers because of the uncertainty that is inherent in online shopping because consumers are not able to try on clothing or to see products in-person. Despite this however Amazon has figured out how to allow the advantages that are built into the online shopping process to overshadow the weaknesses of the online shopping process. This has made it a formidable competitor in its industry and companies that did not build up a strong online presence are struggling.

In the food processing and supplying business there are similar changes occurring in that consumers’ shopping habits are changing and consumers’ expectations of the food and beverage industry are changing quite a bit according to the industry publication that is known as Food Engineering Magazine. In 2016 Food Engineering Magazine compiled a list of exemplary businesses in the food and beverage industry. The Illinois-based company OSI Group which is led by Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Lanvin, was named number 66 out of 100 companies in its sector. Sheldon Lavin’s leadership at OSI Group has helped to propel the company into a new era of change that has seen the OSI Group expand into other countries and grow its assets. For instance in 2016 the company purchased a warehouse and plant in its home state of Illinois.

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OSI Food Solutions Company Increased Its Investment in Chicken production

OSI was established in 1909 by Otto Kolschowsky. Otto was a German who had moved to America and decided to start a small meat kiosk. After 19 years, the small business grew into a company as it had gained enough finances from supplying quality meat to the locals. It was at this time when the kiosk became Otto and Sons Company. Later the current owner of the company got his first job as a consultant in finances. After several years, Sheldon Lavin became a shareholder in the company and as a result, he got more involved in the activities of this meat processing firm. After purchasing the firm he renamed it to LLC which then became OSI group.

2016 Globe of Honor.

Annually the British Council holds a Luncheon where awards are given to companies. The companies which receive these recognitions and awards are those that have been noticed to have an outstanding passion for care and protection of the environment. For a company to be included in the competition for awards, it must be rated with at least five starts in the British scheme. OSI Group received award in 2016 for being the best company which has been in the frontline in environmental conservation.

ISO Group Employment policy

Sheldon has grown the ISO Group by creating a network with all his employees. At work, all employees call him Sherry so as to remove any formality which may bring tension to the employees. The company aims at employing more both formal and subordinate staff as a way of creating and improving the livelihood of residents located near the firm. Employees are always encouraged to quickly learn from their mistakes and move on to the continuous success of the firm. Currently, the company is looking for people with an entrepreneurial mind so as to give them an opportunity to grow their own dreams.

Acquisitions and expansion plans.

Early last year the company increased its investment in chicken production in Spain with an aim of increasing the output from 12000 tons to 24 000 tons. It was essential for the objective to be met due to the growing demand in Spain. With the output increment, the company also invested in refrigerators, vehicles, chicken food, human resources, and buildings. Moreover, the company has gone ahead to buy all shares in both Baho foods and Tyson food as a way of expanding their suppliers and delivering to the consumers’ demands. Baho is a Dutch company which mainly deals with meat processing and the making of meat products like Pizza, hotdogs, and sausages among others.

This company has been ranked among the best food processing companies because it always delivers high-quality meat and meat products to the clients in all the branches.

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Focus on the Success and Achievements of Sheldon Lavin, OSI Group CEO

Sheldon Lavin is the current Chairman and CEO of OSI Group. He has been involved in the meat industry for the last 43 years. Mr. Lavin was actively involved with the OSI Group back in the 1970s when it was searching for financing facilities to build a meat processing facility. OSI Group was looking at expanding its processing facility in order to increase the meat products it used to supply to McDonalds. From then on, Mr. Lavin succeeded in transforming the group to become a global food products supplier in 17 countries with 20,000 employees and more than 80 processing facilities.


Sheldon Lavin started of his illustrious livelihood at OSI Group working as a consultant. He managed to become a partner at the group in 1975. He made a significant role when the group was expanding its operations into Europe, South America and Asia. In early 80s, he bought a controlling interest in the group and was entitled to take it over. Mr. Lavin nurtured a culture where his employees are usually treated like members of a global family. This has enabled the company to have a low staff turnover since most of the employees end up working for the company for longer periods. Sheldon was previously involved with the banking and financial services sector.

Involvement in Charity

Sheldon Lavin contributes regularly to a number of charities, a proof of his philanthropic nature. There are a number of notable charities that he supports. Among the most notable charities he supports include United Negra College Fund, National Multiple Sceloris Society among others.


From the time that Sheldon Lavin became the CEO at OSI Group, the company has bagged a number of accolades. Among the awards won by the group are for environmental and health management as well as safety risks such as the Globe of Honor (2016) awarded to the company by the British Safety Council back in February 20, 2016. This particular award sought to recognize Mr. Lavin’s efforts in placing the company in a global platform and job creation globally. The Global Visionary Award is normally awarded to visionaries capable of making their dreams come true through perseverance in order to realize their goals.

Mr. Lavin has managed to also receive various other rewards for participating in a number of services. These include Director and President of the Sheba Foundation, Trustee for the Ronald McDonald House Charities as well as the Goodman Theatre member of board. He was also a Rush University Medical Center board member.

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David McDonald, President and COO With OSI Group, LLC

David McDonald attended Iowa State University from 1983 through 1987, earning a BS and holds a degree in Animal Science. He was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. Mr. McDonald joined the OSI Group, LLC in 1987. He holds the title of President and COO of OSI Group, LLC in Aurora, Illinois and has been with the group for thirty years. He was Chairman of the North American Meat Institute in 2015, then became a board member in 2015 and continues in that position. David McDonald is also an Independent Director at Marfrig Global Food, S.A.

The OSI Group, LLC, founded in 1909, is a privately held global provider of custom prepared food and beverages to top retail and food service brands. Their Corporate Headquarters are located in Aurora, Illinois. OSI has over 100,000 employees, 65 facilities preparing and processing their many culinary products for 17 countries including Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, and the USA, to name a few. These many varied cultures give an idea of how diverse OSI Group’s processes are.

OSI acquired the controlling interest of Baho Food, a privately owned Dutch company, that processes meat and other edibles for retail markets and food service businesses. Baho Food has plants in the Netherlands and Germany, owns five subsidiaries and has been operating for close to 60 years, selling a large assortment of convenience foods and deli meats to clients throughout 18 European countries. David McDonald believes adding Baho Food to OSI’s European group will give OSI a larger presence there. Baho brands and products are complementary to the products offered by OSI, allowing growth of services and better coverage of their customer base. Baho Food Managing Director, John Balvers, believes Baho Food will greatly benefit from the merger and allow their customer base to increase their own customers and own product lines and growth, allowing them all to reach their own goals.

David McDonald says OSI Group, LLC keeps quality standards so high because they consider clients to be family. If products cannot be served to the families, it cannot be served to customers. David McDonald and OSI care deeply how their business activities impact the environment, communities, and people. They try hard to maintain sustainable, positive relationships, to work hard continually looking for ways to improve sustainability impacts. Sustainability endeavors are at work in the total OSI global reach and are acknowledged throughout the food industry.

Sheldon Lavin Is A Renowned Food Executive

Sheldon Lavin serves as the Chairman as well as Chief Executive Officer of the OSI Group. He has experience of being a part of all the facets of its operations. He always ensures that efficiency along with quality is maintained at all levels.

To recognize all these significant strides made by Sheldon Lavin, including taking OSI Group to a new level in the international scene, he has been honored with several awards. This is due to his contribution to job growth besides being committed to the business community of Chicago.

Besides expanding the operations of the OSI Group across the globe, this international company has received several awards for environment and sustainability under the supervision of Sheldon Lavin. He wants the next generation of upcoming entrepreneurs to continue with this thought and consider the health of the planet as a top priority. He would like to inspire the next generation of young leaders so that they commit themselves and grow their company in a responsible way. This way they can create growth opportunities for their employees besides contributing to the global economy and making a difference to the world of tomorrow.

There is a lot that Sheldon Lavin does besides focusing on his work. He is a part of several charitable causes. He is a global icon. He had always wanted to be the owner of his business and work for it. In addition, he has an academic qualification in accounting as well as finance. This enabled him to follow his dream.

He had arranged the financing for the Kolschowsky family that had built the first facility for meat processing in West Chicago. The original name of this company was Otto & Sons. Later it was changed to OSI Industries. He was always involved with the company and became its owner, eventually.

He had always envisioned this company to become a food processing enterprise that was renowned all around the world. Today this company is spread across 17 countries having over 80 facilities. Its main product range is protein items. In addition, it produces a few vegetable items, besides sauces as well as baked goods.

He never dictated from the top at the OSI Group. He did not run it like any other kind of typical company. It is operated like a family. Still, it has rules and implements its strategies too. It has varying levels of responsibility along with budgetary limits. This culture of the OSI Group is different and separates it from the rest. This has worked well for the OSI Group.

A Review Of David McDonald’s Contribution To The Success Of OSI Group

David McDonald has worked for OSI group for 30 years. He has helped in growing the firm from humble beginnings to a premier global food provider. The growth of the company has been in line with the company’s vision of becoming a leading brand in the industry. Over the years, the company has been taking the challenge of venturing into new markets that American food chain companies had considered not lucrative. As the company’s president, David has been heavily involved in deciding on strategic business options.

OSI Group is not limited by its clients need. The company has always sought to provide products that go beyond meeting its customers’ needs. These products have seen the company remains the favorite among its clients. In addition, McDonald has always ensured that OSI Group’s products are flexible to the needs of every market and are customized to the taste if the consumers. Before developing any products, the company conducts a comprehensive market research.

The executive leader notes that the success of OSI’s family culture is anchored on the openness of the new partners that join the company in the many formal partnerships that OSI has used to grow. This way, the company has managed to develop a comprehensive system of overseeing and controlling budgetary allocations in its facilities. However, these facilities have a degree of independence to ensure the people closest to the customers make critical decisions. Notably, the company leaves the locals to manage such facilities as they are conversant with the existing regulations and tastes of the consumers.

David has been advocating for innovation and entrepreneurial spirit at OSI Group. These two factors are critical to the success of the company. In addition, McDonald appreciates clients since they play an important role in inspiring innovations at the firm. Whenever challenged by a customer, OSI embarks on improvements and refinements that seek to transform the taste of their products to learn more about us: click here.

David McDonald is OSI Group’s president and chief operating officer. The Chicago-based corporate leader joined the company in 1987 after graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Iowa State University. Previously, he worked as the company’s project manager.

Sheldon Lavin, OSI Group CEO

Sheldon Lavin graduated college with a degree in Finance and Accounting. He worked in banking and ran a financial consulting firm. In 1970, Sheldon Lavin was financial consultation for Otto & Sons Company. The company was one of the main suppliers of hamburgers to McDonald’s. Otto & Sons Company became OSI Group. Sheldon Lavin is currently the CEO and Chairman of OSI Group.

The Global Visionary Award honors visionaries who turned their dreams into reality by accomplishing their goals through persistent perseverance. India’s Vision World Academy presented Sheldon Lavin with the Global Visionary Award in 2016. The honor was in recognition of his accomplishments with thrusting OSI Group into international markets and creating significant job growth.

OSI Group receives numerous awards. In 2015 RSM US presented Sheldon Lavin with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the award for superior commitment to food service, and to Chicago businesses. In 2016, the British Safety Council awarded OSI Group with the Globe of Honor. They received the award for demonstrating superior environmental risk management strategies.

Sheldon Lavin entered food service industry with minimal experience, but through constant dedication, he helped OSI Group grow into a powerful international business. OSI Group employs over 20,000 people around the world. They are proud to treat employees like family. The turnover percent is very low, which helps improve the quality of the products.

When Sheldon Lavin gained complete control of OSI Group, his only goal was to grow the company into something massive. Currently, OSI Group owns over 70 facilities in 17 countries. Sheldon Lavin is an international inspiration. He demonstrates how to succeed by serving and leading. He started when the company was a fledgling business. His vision, honesty, and dedication created a global business that inspires other companies to learn more: click here.

Sheldon Lavin wishes that the future leaders of OSI Group remember the importance of family, and continually set the standard for quality food and safe environmental practices.

OSI Group supports numerous charities around the world. The company is the highest contributing charitable partner to Ronald McDonald House Charities.

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