OSI Group didn’t become one of the largest food providers in the world overnight. Otto Kolschowsky opened a meat market and butcher shop in Chicago, Illinois in 1909. Toward the end of WWI, he expanded the business by selling meat wholesale; then in 1928, the shop was called Otto and Sons to rebrand itself as a family business.
Otto and Sons agreed to supply ground beef for Ray Kroc, the CEO of McDonald’s, during 1940. This partnership with McDonald’s put Otto and Sons on the path to becoming the global supplier it is today. Since the McDonald’s franchise was growing, Kroc wanted a consistent and affordable product; to achieve this, the beef needed to stay fresh during long trips to other McDonald’s restaurants.
The solution was to flash freeze the patties in liquid nitrogen. Otto and Sons had this capability, and the relationship between the two companies was strengthened; when McDonald’s consolidated its supply chain, Otto and Sons became one of its main suppliers. Meanwhile, the supplier still served local restaurants and retail markets.
Since the business was evolving, Otto and Sons changed its name to OSI Industries in 1975; also during this time, Sheldon Lavin became a business partner with the supplier. OSI and McDonald’s continued to flourish. The supplier opened more facilities in America in the late 70s’ and early 80s’ and then internationally in Spain and Germany.
In the early 1980s, Lavin became the CEO of OSI Group because his investing skills were needed for the company’s global growth. Lavin helped the company break into other areas of the food industry. Overall, OSI became one of the most important food suppliers in the world by opening facilities in countries such as Brazil, Austria, Mexico, Hungary, and Poland. However, OSI’s partnership with China is what launched OSI’s international growth.
At the dawn of the 21st century, China’s economy grew quickly, and consumers became more affluent and desired a variety of products. Because of this, OSI Group gained new clients such as Starbucks, Papa John’s, Burger King and Subway.
Research and Development also played a crucial role in OSI Group’s growth. The company has two Culinary Innovation Centers in Aurora, Illinois and one in Shanghai, China. These research facilities work with clients in order to improve and create new products. Working closely with clients keeps OSI informed of what consumers need and want. OSI Group is also mindful of its impact on the environment by using R&D to sustainably make its products.
OSI International Foods Merge with Turi Foods
OSI International merged with Turi Foods on May 4th, 2018. The two will now be called Turosi Pty Ltd. Turi Foods processes poultry in Australia and supplies it to butcher shops, markets, and restaurants; also it’s one of the largest poultry suppliers in Australia.
Grant Thornton arranged the business details of the merge on behalf of Turi Foods. The merger will enable Turi Foods to distribute its products on a larger scale, and OSI Group will benefit from Turi Foods poultry farming and processing capabilities.
The two suppliers will equally share ownership of the company. The chairman of Turi Foods, Sam Cuteri thinks that shared ownership will allow both companies to share their skills and knowledge in order to build a “world-class food solution group.”
David McDonald, the director of OSI, also believes the merger will be beneficial. McDonald sees this merger as an opportunity to serve customers in more innovative ways.