Category Archives: Provider

The Growth an Innovation at its Best with OSI Group

OSI Group is without a doubt one of the most competitive companies within the food service industry, but there is also no doubt that their history founded on innovation is growing by leaps and bounds. Today, with more than 19,000 employees, the company is making sound decisions, completing mergers, and making more acquisitions. While it all sounds complicated, the driving force behind Sheldon Lavin is “growth”.

When the OSI Group started, it was started by immigrants from Germany, namely, Otto Kolschowsky. As a growing part of the German-immigrant community at the time in Chicago Illinois, he was focused on growing the best food supply company possible. Although Chicago has always been considered to be a thriving city, it was quickly becoming a place where immigrants were also hopeful to find land that they could farm and become self-sustaining. The city, known as the “Hog Butcher of the World”, deemed to be so by Carl Sandburg, the OSI Group had to find a way to either work together with farmers to get the food supply out to the families, or to compete with them.

Kolschowsky opened a retail meat market to serve the community, and by doing so over time he was able to build relationships with the community. His questions about what people need and how to enhance the food supply were all answered through his work with the OSI Group. As he aged, his sons took the reins of the business. Once Kolschowsky’s sons were ready to retire, they called upon the expertise of Sheldon Lavin. Once their consultant for business, he was able to see what the future might be like and how they would need to grow and expand to stay at the peak of their marketplace.

One of the first things Sheldon Lavin launched into action upon his appointment as the Chairman and CEO of the company, was to join with McDonald’s for a wild venture in food service. Although they were not the same company, they were supplying much of what McDonald’s was using. This was when they could see the opportunity for marketshare.

Since the mid-90’s, the OSI Group has grown globally and continues to open up more opportunities within local markets as well. In 2017, they launched into the European market even stronger, taking over Creative Foods Europe.


The Acquisition of the struggling Tyson Foods Plant by OSI Food Solutions in 2016

OSI Food Solutions is a processing food company that is reported by the Cook County Recorder to have purchased the former Chicago Tyson Foods plant in 2016 for a whopping $7.4 million. The Tyson Foods company had been undergoing operational challenges because, in November 2016, 480 jobs were lost after Tyson Foods shut down the establishment that was located at 4201 S. Ashland Ave. Before October, the Tyson Food plant only had 250 employees.

Alison Kovaleski who was the spokeswoman of OSI Food Solutions stated that OSI Food Solutions was the one which offered employment to the 250 employees and she had no statement to record about the future plans of the company.

On June 8, 2016, OSI Food Solutions made a statement on their website that the facility that covered 200,000 square foot located in the Yards neighborhood was close to one of OSI Food Solutions facility in Chicago, and it was going to be turned around into a business plant that would grow. This plant was a huge addition to the OSI manufacturing plan as senior executive vice president Kevin Scott stated in an announcement on the website.

OSI is a private company that produces bacon, breakfast sausage, and other meat products, as well as other food retail brands and food service products. OSI operates in sixteen countries and it has more than sixty facilities in these countries. The acquisition of Tyson Foods was well into their grand plan of business. Tyson Foods was a producer of hospitality meals where it distributed foods to clients in the vicinity of the South Side plant. Some of the food products that were made at this location include omelets, crepes, meatballs, chicken cordon bleu, and sauces.

During the closure of the Tyson Foods plant, the executive of the OSI company said that the facility had a challenge of meeting the customer needs that were changing. Although they closed down one plant, two facilities located in Chicago at 400 S Jefferson St., and 3548 N. Koster Ave., are still in operation as they produce steaks.

The closure of the facility in Chicago was a calculated move by the company. OSI had been following up with the struggling plant before even making an offer on the acquisition of the plant. This acquisition is going to bring a lot of benefits to the company at large and change even the business landscape in the food processing business in Chicago.

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