From its humble beginnings over a hundred years ago, OSI Group has definitely grown to become a global power house of sorts. A leader in the food processing supplying business, the company first started out as a small meat shop in Chicago. Founded by an immigrant, Otto Kolschowsky, he initially named it Otto&Sons. The company operated in this way for nearly four decades when in 1955 it got a breakthrough offer from an another small company known as McDonald’s, as one of their main beef suppliers. Yes, that would be the McDonalds we know of today that dominates the fast food business.
What happened to Otto & Sons meat shop after getting that contract is easy to guess. Things went along that way for a few more decades when one of the bankers the company was dealing with named Sheldon Lavin joined the company. At first, he worked in more of an advisory capacity with the family who was running the company. However, not long after he became a managing partner. And then eventually bought the company outright. Once Sheldon came aboard he began an aggressive expansion overseas by snapping up similar companies in places like England, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and India.
One of the most recent acquisitions is Flagship Europe. Flagship is one of the biggest food service companies in the UK. Some of the foods they supply include but not limited to are poultry items, Oliver James pies, Mayonnaise, sous vide equipment and assorted dressings and sauces. This acquisition not only gives OSI Group a big presence in the UK but in other parts of Europe as well. However, even with all this growth, Sheldon strongly believes the reason behind OSI’s success in international ventures is because the company is mindful of local tastes, customs, and culture. In other words, Even though OSI is a global company, they think local.
Apart from being a food distributor, OSI is also active when it comes to collaborating with technology companies to come up with equipment to help with food hygiene. One example would be machines that can detect foreign objects in food.
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