OSI Group has become one of the largest worldwide food providers having been founded by German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky in the year 1909 as a small retail meat market in Chicago Illinois. After the First World War in 1917, Otto had established the small retail market into a wholesale meat market and moved it to Chicago Maywood. The business continued its growth for a while and in 1928 the name was changed to Otto & Sons. In 1955, the business got a great headstart following Ray Kroc’s need of a ground beef supplier to his McDonald’s restaurant. Ray chose Otto & Sons and entered into a contract with Otto’s two sons; Harry and Arthur.
After a few years McDonald’s became a corporation with Ray as its CEO therefore forcing Otto & Sons meat supplying to the corporation the primary task. McDonald grew in number of restaurants which became widespread thus all suppliers had to find a way to transport the meat on the long distances. However, in the late 1960s cyrogenic food processing was discovered where food was frozen with liquid nitrogen thus allowing for the long distance supply of Otto & Sons meat to McDonald’s. In 1973, Otto & Sons built a plant in Chicago Illinois whose main function was to flash freeze McDonald’s hamburger patties. Otto & Sons later changed the name from Otto & Sons to OSI Industries in 1975 following its great advancements.
Both the sons of Otto were closely approaching retirement and Sheldon Lavin joined the company as a partner having previously been the investment consultant. In 1977, OSI Group opened another facility outside Chicago in West Jordan, Utah. Both McDonald’s and OSI Industries became multinational corporations where both opened facilities in Germany in 1978 and in 1980 in Spain. In the ealry 1980s Sheldon Lavin took over as CEO and chairman of the company following his expertise as an investor. The transition to a multinational company has made OSI Group one of the largest companies in the US with sales of up to $6.1 billion. OSI Group has also become the supplier of other companies such as Starbucks and Yum.