OSI Group is an American privately owned holding company of meat processors that service the retail and food service industries with international headquarters in Aurora, Illinois. It operates over 65 facilities in 17 countries. Sheldon Lavin was the owner, CEO and chairman until his death in May 2023.[2]

OSI Group
Company typePrivate
Industrymeat processing
FoundedChicago, United States (1909 (1909))
FounderOtto Kolschowsky
United States
Key people
Steve Lavin, CEO
Number of employees
20,000 (2016)[1]



Early history


In 1909, German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky opened a family meat market in Oak Park, Illinois[3] two years after his arrival in the United States. In 1917, he expanded into the wholesale meat trade and relocated the business to nearby Maywood, another Chicago suburb. The company became known as Otto & Sons in 1928. Over several decades, Otto & Sons established a local reputation for offering quality meats.[4] Harold and Jerry Kolschowsky, along with Sheldon Lavin, were influential in expanding the company to what it is today.

In 1955, Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois with Otto & Sons as the supplier of fresh ground beef patties.[5][6] When cryogenic food processing, a method of preserving fresh food through liquid nitrogen freezing, emerged in the late 1960s, Otto & Sons accepted Kroc's offer to become one of McDonald's four meat suppliers. Later, a fifth supplier was added.[4]

In 1973, Otto & Sons opened its first high-volume meat plant in West Chicago with specially developed patty-forming machines and liquid nitrogen freezing tunnels. At the same time, it formed a separate unit called Glenmark, for all non-McDonald's business. In 1975, the company changed its name to OSI Industries. Glenmark was later acquired by Best Chicago Meat Co. in 2011.[7]



Since 1990, OSI has made the following acquisitions and expansions:

  • In 1990, it partnered with General Milling Corporation and Alaska Milk Corporation to establish GenOSI, a Philippines-based food processing company.[8]
  • In 1995, it entered the India market with the creation of its subsidiary, Vista Processed Foods.[9]
  • In 1996, it acquired chicken company Moy Park, which was later sold to Marfrig Group in 2008.[10][11]
  • In 2002, it established OSI China in Beijing.[3][12]
  • In 2004, it acquired G W Padley Poultry and Dove Valley.[10]
  • In 2006, it acquired poultry processor Amick Farms.[13]
  • In 2009, it established Weihai Poultry Development Co. as a wholly owned subsidiary in China.[14]
  • In 2011, it opened a Culinary Innovation Center at its headquarters in Aurora, Illinois.[15]
  • In 2013, it established DaOSI in collaboration with Doyoo Group.[16]
  • In 2016, it acquired a former Tyson Foods plant in Chicago for $7.4 million.[17]
  • In August 2016, it acquired a controlling stake in the Dutch company Baho Food.[18]
  • In December 2016, it acquired Flagship Europe from the Flagship Food Group.[19] In 2018, Flagship Europe was renamed Creative Foods Europe.[20]
  • In 2018, the merger of Turi Foods and OSI International Foods (Australia) created Turosi Pty Ltd.[21]
  • In 2019, it acquired Chicago area meat company Rose Packing Company for an undisclosed amount.[22]

In 2011, Forbes listed OSI as America's 136th largest private company, based on annual revenues of $3 billion.[23] In 2016, it was #58 on the Forbes list of largest private companies, at $6.1 billion.[1] The company's rank slipped slightly to #63 on the Forbes list in 2018.[24] For 2019, its rank came in at #66.[25] Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine listed OSI Group as the sixth largest Meat/Poultry/Seafood processor in its Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors Report in March 2019.[26]



OSI Group operates its U.S. plants under the name OSI Industries, LLC. The U.S. plants are located in Chicago (Racine and Ashland facilities), Geneva and West Chicago in Illinois, as well as Oakland, Iowa, West Jordan, Utah, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, and Riverside, California. The company produces many private-label brand foods and co-packs major brand name items for its various food service and retail customers. OSI Group has more than 65 facilities in 17 countries around the world, located in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.[27]

OSI's products include meat patties, bacon, hot dogs, pork, poultry, fish, pizza, vegetable and dough products.

It has also been a meat supplier to other western fast food chains in China, such as Subway, Starbucks, Papa John's Pizza, and Pizza Hut (July 2014).[28]

Impossible Foods announced a co-manufacturing collaboration with OSI to produce the Impossible Burger in July 2019, providing IF with capacity to quadruple its production by the end of 2019.[29][30]

Recognition and controversy


OSI Group facilities have received awards over the years, including awards for management of health and safety risks as well as environmental management.[31][32][33][34][35][36] Whole Foods Market presented OSI with an award for Outstanding Innovation at the company's annual Supplier Awards ceremony in April 2019.[37]

In July 2014, a factory of OSI Group in Shanghai, China was ordered to shut down production by local government for selling expired meat to international fast food chains including McDonald's and KFC.[38] In February 2016, following the return of an unfavorable verdict in the case against the company in the Jiading District People's Court in Shanghai, OSI said in a statement that "the court of jurisdiction has reached an unjust verdict" and claimed that "general media clearly influenced the verdict."[39]

See also



  1. ^ a b "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  2. ^ "Forbes profile: Sheldon Lavin". Forbes. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "OSI Group celebrates 20 years in China with two new projects". Provisioner Online.
  4. ^ a b Ray A. Goldberg, Harold F. Hogan Jr. (January 23, 2002). "OSI Group". Harvard Business School. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's. H. Regnery. May 1977. ISBN 0809282593.
  6. ^ "Kitchen opens at McDonald's". Chicago Tribune.
  7. ^ "Best Chicago Meat Acquires Glenmark Brand, Introduces New Product Line". March 20, 2012.
  8. ^ "GenOSI celebrates 25th anniversary". Inquirer.net.
  9. ^ "OSI opens frozen vegetable plant in India". Food Business News.
  10. ^ a b "Brazilian group buys major poultry processor Moy Park". Farmers Weekly. June 23, 2008.
  11. ^ "Moy Park has had many owners in its 74-year history". Irish Times.
  12. ^ "OSI set to become largest poultry producer in China". Global Meat News. October 9, 2012.
  13. ^ "Poultry processor Amick Farms sold to Illinois firm". WISTV. October 13, 2006.
  14. ^ "Commercial Broiler Farms of OSI Group (Weihai) Poultry Development Co., Ltd". Compassion in Food Business.
  15. ^ "Creative R&D Culture". Prepared Foods.
  16. ^ "Two New Poultry Processing Plants for OSI n China". The Poultry Site.
  17. ^ Greg Trotter (June 27, 2016). "OSI buys former Tyson Foods plant on South Side for $7.4M". Chicago Tribune.
  18. ^ Dean Best (August 9, 2016). "OSI Group to buy control of Dutch meat firm Baho Food".
  19. ^ Meat + Poultry staff (December 21, 2016). "OSI acquires UK's Flagship Europe".
  20. ^ Lisa Jenkins (February 7, 2018). "Flagship Europe becomes Creative Foods Europe".
  21. ^ Remedios Lucio (September 27, 2018). "Australian food, bev industry records $600m".
  22. ^ Meat + Poultry staff (April 9, 2019). "OSI Acquires Rose Packing Company".
  23. ^ "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes. November 16, 2011. Archived from the original on November 20, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  24. ^ "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  25. ^ "America's Largest Private Companies". Forbes. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  26. ^ "Top 150 Frozen Foods Processors Report". ForbesBNP Media II LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  27. ^ "Global Locations". OSI Group. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  28. ^ "McDonald'S & YUM Brands' China "Spoiled Meat" Supplier: Inside Privately-Held Giant OSI GROUP (PrivCo Data)". PrivCo.com. July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  29. ^ "Impossible can't make its meatless food fast enough. Now it's partnering with a company that makes meat". CNN.com. July 31, 2019. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  30. ^ "Impossible Foods, others, use partners to expand". Associated Press. July 31, 2019. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  31. ^ "U.K. Honours OSI". Meatingplace. November 27, 2015.
  32. ^ "OSI Food Solutions UK awarded 2016 Globe of Honour by the British Safety Council". BNP Media. December 6, 2016.
  33. ^ "OSI Food Plant Receives California Green Business Award". GIE Media, Inc. August 4, 2016.
  34. ^ "OSI Food Solutions UK awarded 2016 Globe of Honour by the British Safety Council". December 6, 2016.
  35. ^ "International Safety Awards" (PDF). 2018.
  36. ^ "Globe of Honour Winners 2018".
  37. ^ "OSI earns Outstanding Innovation Award from Whole Foods Market". BNP Media II LLC. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  38. ^ "China's food safety reputation takes another blow". CNBC. July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  39. ^ "February 1, 2016" (PDF) (Press release). OSI Group. February 1, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.